Elio Chacon, a native of Venezuela, served as a reserve middle infielder for the Cincinnati Reds in 1960 and 1961 before the Mets selected him in the 1961 expansion draft. He made his Mets debut on April 13th as a pinch runner and would go on to play in 118 games for the Mets in their inaugural season mainly as the clubs starting shortstop. He hit a disappointing .236 for the Mets but did manage to tie Richie Ashburn for the team lead in stolen bases with 12. He also hit 2 home runs while driving in 27. His most productive day came on June 9th against the Chicago Cubs when he went 4 for 6 with 3 runs scored.
But Chacon is best known for story that has become part of Mets folklore over the years and came to symbolize the futility of the 1962 season. Chacon and centerfielder Richie Ashburn often found themselves colliding in the outfield. When Ashburn went for a catch, he would scream, “I got it! I got it!” only to run into Chacon, who spoke only Spanish. To avoid further collisions Ashburn learned to say “¡Yo la tengo!’ which is “I’ve got it” in Spanish. During a game later in the season Ashburn went for a fly ball and screamed “¡Yo la tengo!” Chacon backed off but leftfielder Frank Thomas didn’t and banged into Ashburn. Thomas was asked after the game why he didn’t back off, his response was “I don’t speak Spanish..”
1962 would be Chacon’s only season with the Mets; in fact it would be his last in the majors. He would spend the next two seasons playing in the Mets minor league systems before he was traded to the St Louis Cardinals along with Tracy Stallard in exchange for Johnny Lewis and Gordie Richardson. He retired from playing following the 1970 season.
While with the Mets Chacon wore number 7.
Elio Chacon also played for the Cincinnati Reds in 1960 and 1961.