July 24, 1912|
|Died: August 19, 1969
|April 23, 1939, for the Washington Senators|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 26, 1949, for the Chicago White Sox|
|Career highlights and awards|
Alejandro Eloy Carrasquel Aparicio [car-ras-KAEL] (July 24, 1912 – August 19, 1969), was a Venezuelan professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a pitcher for the Washington Senators and the Chicago White Sox. Carrasquel became the first Venezuelan to play in Major League Baseball when he joined the Senators in 1939.
Born in Caracas, Carrasquel had a fine fastball, which he complemented with an effective knuckleball and a decent curve. He started his major league career with the Washington Senators in the American League on April 23, 1939. In his major league debut as a reliever against the New York Yankees, Carrasquel retired the side in order, striking out Joe DiMaggio, retiring Lou Gehrig on a ground ball, and Bill Dickey on a pop fly.
Although World War II was officially over and baseball's finest players were back in their familiar ranks, tranquility no longer had a place in the majors. The new Mexican League, headed by millionaire Jorge Pasquel, had lured a cluster of bigleaguers. On January 2, 1946, the Chicago White Sox bought Carrasquel's contract from the Senators. He rejected the deal and fled to play in Mexico, signing a three-year contract – the first shot in the cross-border disputes that would dominate baseball even more than the return of the war veterans. There were several other players who fled to Mexico, including outfielder Danny Gardella, pitchers Sal Maglie and Max Lanier and catcher Mickey Owen. Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler sought a lifetime suspension for them, but his penalty was later reduced.
In 1949, Carrasquel returned to the majors with three appearances for the White Sox before being farmed out. When Chicago acquired his nephew Chico Carrasquel in that season, GM Frank Lane swapped Alex for reliever Witto Aloma, who acted strictly as an interpreter for the young Venezuelan shortstop.
In an eight-season major league career, Carrasquel posted a 50–39 record with 252 strikeouts, a 3.73 ERA, 30 complete games, four shutouts, 16 saves, and 861 innings pitched in 258 games (64 as a starter).
Carrasquel was married to Virginia Johnson. They had two sons, Thomas and William. He died in Caracas, Venezuela at age 57. In his native country, Carrasquel was affectionately nicknamed "Patón" (Bigfoot) due to his shoe size (14).
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
- Baseball Library
- Bison's History: The 1950s
- Baseball Library - Mexican League article
- Venezuelan Professional Baseball League statistics