Harry Chiti (pronounced // CHEE-tee) (November 16, 1932 – January 31, 2002) was an American catcher in Major League Baseball. From 1950 through 1962, he played for the Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Athletics, Detroit Tigers and New York Mets. Chiti batted and threw right-handed. He was the father of major league coach Dom Chiti.
Harry Chiti in 1952 at the Polo Grounds
|Born: November 16, 1932|
|Died: January 31, 2002 (aged 69)|
Haines City, Florida
|September 27, 1950, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 10, 1962, for the New York Mets|
|Runs batted in||179|
A competent defensive catcher with a great ability to handle the knuckleball, Chiti was only 17 years old when he broke into the majors with the Chicago Cubs, making infrequent appearances from 1950 to 1952.
In 1956, Chiti shared catching duties with Hobie Landrith. On May 30 (Memorial Day) he made an entry for himself in Cubs trivia, during the second game of a windblown doubleheader against the Milwaukee Braves, in which 39 runs were scored overall. While being intentionally walked, Chiti hit Ray Crone's pitch, delivered a little too close to the outside corner of the plate, into the right field corner for a triple.
At season's end, he was sent to the 1956 World Series champion New York Yankees, but never saw any action with the Bombers. He was drafted by the Kansas City Athletics from New York in the 1957 Rule 5 draft. Chiti played with the Athletics from 1958 to 1960. The next three years, he was part of transactions between the A's, Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians.
On April 25, 1962—before he even played a game for the Indians—Chiti was acquired by the expansion New York Mets for a player to be named later. However, he was sent back to the Indians on June 15, 1962, after 15 games and a .195 batting average. Since Chiti was the "player to be named later", he thus became the first player ever traded for himself. Three other players in history have been traded for themselves: Dickie Noles, Brad Gulden, and John McDonald. Chiti never played another major league game, spending two more years at Triple-A before retiring in 1964.
Harry Chiti died on January 31, 2002, at Heart of Florida Hospital in Haines City at the age of 69. He was survived by his wife Catherine, daughter Cindy, son Harry, a former minor league pitcher and eight grandchildren. He is buried at Rolling Hills Cemetery in Winter Haven.
- "Memorial Day brings out Wrigley memories". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
- "Retrosheet Boxscore: Milwaukee Braves 11, Chicago Cubs 9 (2)". www.retrosheet.org. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
- CNN/Sports Illustrated "Worst Individual Seasons By a Team-1962 New York Mets"