Francisco Quicutis (Chito)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 180 lb.
Quicutis hit .354 for Artemisa in the 1942 Cuban amateur season, leading the league with 27 RBI and 9 doubles; he also was 4-3 with a 2.51 ERA as a pitcher. He hit only .176 in the 1942 Amateur World Series, which was won by the Cuban national team, but tied Carlos Perez and Antonio Valdes for the Series lead with two home runs. One of his shots was a huge blast off Venezuelan legend Daniel Canónico that went over the scoreboard, estimated at 500'. He had a 5-2, 2.50 record in the 1943 amateur season. He was a miserable 2 for 33 in the 1943 Amateur World Series but Cuba again won it all.
He turned pro with Marianao of the 1943-1944 Cuban Winter League, going 1-0 and hitting .243/?/.314 while starting alongside Red Treadway and Agustín Bejerano in the outfield. Like many of his Cuban contemporaries, he signed with the Washington Senators. In 1944, he played for the Chattanooga Lookouts (.247/.305/.357, 7 3B in 57 G, backing up Saul Rogovin at 3B) and the Williamsport Grays (.267/.319/.355 in 49 G). The Chattanooga team was loaded with Cubans, as teammates included Luis Aloma, Rene Monteagudo, Baby Ortiz, Luis Suarez and Sandy Ullrich.
Chito hit .168 for Marianao and Cienfuegos in the winter of 1944-1945. He next appeared in 1946-1947, hitting .218 for the Havana Reds of the Cuban National Federation. With the '47 Havana Cubans, Francisco batted .282/?/.456 with 100 RBI, 7 triples and 14 home runs. He tied for fifth in the Florida International League in homers and tied for third in RBI behind Ned Harris and Benny Fernandez. Moving to first base in 1948, he hit .295/?/.438 with 27 doubles, 12 triples and 81 RBI for Havana. He tied for 6th in the FIL in triples and tied for the team lead in RBI; though the Cubans won it all, he did not make the league's top 10 in RBI. That winter, he saw his first Cuban Winter League action in four years (and his last CWL playing time), going 1 for 7 for Habana, backing up Hank Thompson, Henry Kimbro and Pedro Formental in the outfield.
When the Philadelphia Athletics visited Cuba for a 3-game series with the Havana Cubans early in 1949, Quicutis came up big, homering off Bill McCahan in the lone Havana win. It was the prelude to a poor summer, though, as he hit only .169/?/.231 for Havana, falling into a backup role; he also hit .274/?/.415 for the Sherman-Denison Twins. He also was 6-6 with a 5.32 ERA, pitching regularly for the first time in his professional career.
In 1950, Francisco was with the El Dorado Oilers (.292/.375/.463; 4-10, 6.46 in 78 G) and Alexandria Aces (.313/.405/.563; 3-7, 4.78 in 28 G). The next summer, he played for the Mexicali Eagles (.282/?/.518 in 38 G; 2-2) and Laredo Apaches (.353/?/.500 in 47 G). He wound down his playing career with the 1952 Chihuahua Dorados, hitting .291/.339/.520 with 13 homers in 80 games.
Overall, Quicutis had hit .285/?/.445 in 729 minor league games.
Returning to Cuba, he became a successful manager, guiding Artemisa to the 1959 amateur title (the Ecured website also lists him as helping them to the 1957 title, though Peter Bjarkman's Cuban history book lists an A. Gomez as the manager; Quicutis could have been a coach). He was the first manager of the Vegueros in the Cuban Serie Nacional that was set up in the Castro era but led the team to two poor finishes at 33-65 in 1967-1968 and 32-67 in 1968-1969; he was succeeded by Asdrúbal Baró and died a year later.