Harry Chappas
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Harry Chappas
Harry Chappas
Born: (1957-10-26) October 26, 1957 (age 64)
Mount Rainier, Maryland
Batted: Both
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 7, 1978, for the Chicago White Sox
Last MLB appearance
June 13, 1980, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
At bats184
Runs batted in12

Harry Perry Chappas (born October 26, 1957 in Mount Rainier, Maryland) is a former shortstop with the Chicago White Sox in parts of three seasons, from 1978 until 1980. Though he appeared in only 72 career games, he became a cult hero on the South Side due primarily to his stature. Chappas was measured by Harry Caray and publicly declared to be 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m), an inch or two shorter than established star Freddie Patek.[1] He was one of the shortest players in Major League history, although Chappas stated in an interview in Sports Illustrated that he was closer to 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m), and implied that team owner Bill Veeck exaggerated his short stature for publicity reasons.[2]

Chappas' professional baseball career began with the barnstorming ex-Negro league Indianapolis Clowns, who had become racially integrated, and had developed into more of an entertainment product than a competitive team. When Chappas later made his major league debut, he became the final player and first white player to make the major leagues from a team formerly a member of the Negro leagues.

Chappas signed with the White Sox in 1976 as a sixth round draft pick. He impressed Veeck with good performances for the Appleton Foxes in 1978. This earned Chappas a September callup, during which he hit an effective .267 in 20 games.

Primarily due to his height, he gained more and more national interest, highlighted by an appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated during spring training in 1979.[2] In spring training that year, Chappas unseated veteran Don Kessinger and became the opening day shortstop. He lost his job after two weeks after missing a sign as a baserunner, only returning in September. Chappas made the opening day roster the following year as well, but only as a reserve player, and he was subsequently sent to the minors after hitting .160 in 50 at bats.

Overall, Chappas hit .245 in the majors and hit a single home run, off the Brewers' Bill Travers, in 1979.[3]


  1. ^ Keith, Larry (1979-03-19). "It's Not Only A Game Of Inches". Sports Illustrated.
  2. ^ a b Wertheim, Jon (1997-07-29). "Catching Up With... Harry Chappas". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 2007-01-03. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Retrosheet Boxscore: Milwaukee Brewers 5, Chicago White Sox 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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