Continuing with yesterday's obituary theme, Bob Chakales is not exactly a household name in Baltimore, but he holds an interesting place in team history as the club's first would-be closer. Midway through the team's inaugural season in Baltimore, they acquired the 26-year-old righthander from the Indians for first baseman Vic Wertz. The O's lost 100 games that year, and Chakales was the nearest thing they had to a bullpen ace. He led them with 38 appearances (including six starts), 28 games finished (ranking fifth in the league), and…drumroll please…three saves. His 3.73 ERA also was one of the better marks for the Birds, despite a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.02. Interestingly enough, all three of his wins for Baltimore came in extra innings. That December, he was traded to the White Sox in a seven-player deal. Bob was out of the league by 1957; in seven seasons he was 15-25 with a 4.54 ERA and ten saves. He spent his post-baseball years building over fifty golf courses in the southern United States. Chakales died in his hometown of Richmond, VA on February 18 at age 82.
I'm holding the third departed Oriole pitcher for next Friday, because I want to run one of his vintage cards.