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Elio Chacon
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Elio Chacon
Elio Chacon
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 131 of 1043 players
Elio Chacon
Born: October 26, 1936 at Caracas, Venezuela
Died: April 24, 1992 at Caracas, Venezuela
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 5.10 Weight: 170

Elio Chacon has been the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup 10 times, most recently on January 29, 2016.

ss 2b 3b

First Mets game: April 13, 1962
Last Mets game: September 30, 1962

Share your memories of Elio Chacon


flushing flash
My favorite Met story of all-time involves Elio Chacon. Stop me if you've heard this one...

It seems that in 1962, Chacon and CF Richie Ashburn were having a communications problem. On short fly balls they would inevitably collide even after Ashburn would scream "I got it!" After the third or fourth time this happened Ashburn takes Chacon aside and asks him, "Elio, how do you say 'I got it!' in Spanish?" Chacon replies, "yo la tengo!"

So the next day a batter hits a short fly to center field. Chacon runs out and Ashburn runs in and Ashburn yells, "yo la tengo! yo la tengo!" So Chacon backs off. Ashburn gets set to make the catch -- and left fielder Gus Bell smashes into him!

October 29, 2001
Was he really that bad that he never appeared in another major league game again after the 1962 season. Couldn't anyone else use a "bad field, no hit short stop"?

rich edwards
March 14, 2002
What's amazing is that elio was a valuable reserve infielder on the 1961 Reds. It was he who scored in game 2 on the short passed ball by Ellie Howard. Guess the 62 Mets had a lasting impression on him.

Won Doney
April 7, 2002
It's kind of odd that he hit so poorly, yet he got so many walks.

December 24, 2002
My then 70-something grandmother used to listen to Mets games on the radio and thought that the announcers were talking about Eliosha Cohen - nice Jewish boy from the island(s)

dan heidel
March 18, 2003
I believe he started a triple play in either the 1st or 2nd game of a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds against the Dodgers on Memorial Day, May 30, 1962. Would welcome commentary from anyone who was at the games that day.............it was a sellout.

Bob P
April 1, 2003
Yes, records show that Chacon started the first triple play in Mets history, on May 30 (Memorial Day), 1962. It was the second game of a doubleheader against the Dodgers in their first trip back to NY. Willie Davis was the batter and the TP went Chacon-Mantilla-Hodges. Johnny Podres and Bob Miller were the starters in the game.

Of course, the Mets lost the game, the final was 6-5. The Dodgers had won the first game of the doubleheader 13-6. The second game was the Mets' tenth loss in a row on their way to 17 in a row, and dropped them to 12-29 on the season.

I was not at the games, but at the age of 7 I'm sure I watched them with my dad, who was a big NY Giants fan until they moved, then he became a Mets fan in '62. I did go to dozens of games at the Polo Grounds, but not these two!

January 13, 2004
Flushing flash, allow me to amend your Chacon story. Ashburn didn't go to Chacon to ask him how to say "I got it" in Spanish--if he could have asked HIM, he could have just discussed the problem, right? He asked Joe Christopher, who spoke a little Spanish. And the next day, Ashburn, screaming "Yo la tengo", crashed into left fielder Frank Thomas.

At least that's how Roger Angell tells it.

June 20, 2004
Seems to me the Mets ought to gave given Elio Chacon more opportunity than they ultimately did. His 76 walks in '62 (in just 118 games) remains the second-most walks by a shortstop in Met history (only Bud Harrelson in '70 had more) and the numbers show his defense at SS, though much derided, was above league average that year. He was fast and young and might still have improved but spent '63 buried in Buffalo and did not get another opportunity to play even though he was recalled that September. Casey had made up his mind about him but I submit that was a mistake.

In the meantime the Mets fooled around at SS with Al Moran (worse bat, worse glove, less speed) and veteran Chico Fernandez (like Chacon only older).

One of Chacon's highlights in '62 was his part in a brawl at Candlestick Park. Willie Mays had slid into the bag on a pickoff play and spiked Chacon, who punched Mays in the head before Mays picked Chacon up and bodyslammed him. Roger Craig and Orlando Cepeda were meanwhile squaring off in what was the Mets' first-ever bench-clearing brawl.

February 10, 2005
Back in the Mets initial season my late father told me the Mets had a Jewish player by the name of Cohen. I went to check out their roster to locate a Cohen. I came back and asked him what is first name was. He told me Eliosha, Eliosha Cohen!

April 3, 2005
Just to clarify... The OF who pancaked Ashburn was Frank Thomas. "Yo La Tengo, Frankie, damnit!"

flushing flash
March 5, 2006
Elio was the most popular lookup on this site on February 26, 27 and 28, 2006.

You may ask, why?

The New York Times Sunday crossword of February 26 had this clue for 86-Across:

"Shortstop Chacon of the 1962 Mets"

Mystery solved.

July 12, 2006
I can't figure out why Stengel had it out for this player. He certainly was better than anything the Mets had at short until they traded for Roy MacMillan in 1964. I wish I knew more about why players like Chacon were constantly shuffled around by Stengel. I think Casey's never ending linup changes hurt the 62 Mets a great deal. I realize that sounds silly when you consider they were 40-120, but their most stable line ups were in April and May. Remember that despite their 0-9 start, they did get out of the basement in May with a record of 12-19.

I guess Chacon did something that really got him in Stengel's doghouse because he was banished to Triple A for the entire 1963 and 64 seasons before being packed off to St.Louis in the Johnny Lewis trade. Does anyone have any information on this?

So I guess that is why Elio Chacon remains the most interesting original Met. After all, he wasn't a washed up player with bad legs, or a minor league veteran who couldn't hit or pitch or had a bad glove. He was a very servicable major league shortstop on a bad team with a bad manager!

Bob P
July 13, 2006
Richard, terrific post...and coincidentally, I was reading a Mets blog today (7/13/06) and Chacon STILL HOLDS THE SINGLE SEASON RECORD FOR ON-BASE PERCENTAGE BY A METS SHORTSTOP!!

In fact, if Reyes finished the season at the same pace, he will fall five points short of Chacon's mark.

For the record, Chacon's OBP in 1962 was .368. He hit just .236, but he also walked 76 times in 449 plate appearances.

E. Smith
February 17, 2010
I was there at the Memorial Day Doubleheader and gleefully witnessed the famous triple play. (Were there any other Mets triple plays?) Remember the chant "Let's go Elio. Let's go Elio."?

Lauren Noiseux
March 18, 2012
I wonder if Chacon's high number of walks was due to his batting eighth, and maybe he was pitched around to get to the pitcher.

Natalie Chacon
August 13, 2013
My father was a great player. I am sorry I never had a chance to watch him play.

Ken Merena
August 29, 2013
Wow, here it is, 2013 and I'm just now reading this because I googled Elio Chacon and found this site. I remember watching Elio play in the '61 World Series against the Yanks and thinking how great he was, and then the Mets picked him up in the expansion draft the next season.

I was at that Memorial Day Double Header at the Polo Grounds where Elio began a triple play. I would often go to Sunday Double Headers there with my buddies, Lee and Russ Pearly. Brother Jay Pearly was such a die hard Yankee Fan that he'd never come with us. I will never forget Frank Thomas standing on the stairs coming down from the club house in the deepest part of Center field after every game, and he would stand on those stairs giving autographs and would stay there as long as there were people there wanting them. OF COURSE THOSE AUTOGRAPHS WERE FREE! What did they do to the game I loved so much as a kid?

Natalie Chacon
August 11, 2015
I am the daughter of Elio Chacon, the reason he stopped playing in 1962 is because my mother was pregnant with me and she was under age.

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