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Eastern Shore Baseball by Jerry Keiser

The Eastern Shore is no stranger to baseball, evident each night during the summer as we drive through the small towns and villages and view the stadium lights as they shine light on players on the field playing America’s game. We raise our children, regaling them with stories of these legends of the game as we play catch and hit fly balls in our backyards. We tell them of Jimmie Foxx, Delano Deshields, Harold Baines, HomeRun Baker and Swish Nicholson. So how did we miss the story of Marcus Chaconas? If you look at the 1924 team statistics that gave us Home Run Baker and Jimmie Foxx you will see Chaconas was a better player. So what happened? Marcus T. Chaconas was born in Washington, DC, in 1902 to Greek immigrant parents. Marcus loved baseball and when he read that Home Run Baker was going to manage the Easton Farmers he walked the seventy-some miles to Baker’s home on the Eastern Shore and pleaded for a chance to play baseball for him. He indicated that he would play for free at first and then whatever Baker thought he was worth. Baker, with obviously nothing to lose, allowed the

Frank “Home Run” Baker young man to play for his team. Chaconas played outfield, infield and pitcher. Chaconas begged Baker for a chance to pitch in a holiday game before 1,000 fans in 1925. He was confident that he would lead the team to victory. He assured Baker that if he lost, he would not have to pay him for the game. I doubt in that any of today’s players would make such an offer. Chaconas pitched the game and kept his check. During the 1925 season, Chaconas pitched six games and had three wins and three losses. However, it was Chaconas’s bat-


July 2014 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times July 2014

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