John Robert Candelaria (born November 6, 1953) is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher. Nicknamed "The Candy Man", he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, California Angels, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Montreal Expos, Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, and Los Angeles Dodgers between 1975–1993.
|Born: November 6, 1953|
Brooklyn, New York
|June 8, 1975, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 7, 1993, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Earned run average||3.33|
|Career highlights and awards|
Candelaria was born on November 6, 1953 to Puerto Rican parents. He is the second of four children born to John and Felicia Candelaria. He grew up in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. He frequently attended New York Yankees' games at Yankee Stadium.
At the age of 15, Candelaria attended a baseball tryout where a Los Angeles Dodgers scout called him the best he had ever seen. The tryout catcher had to be replaced with a major league catcher for fear of injuring the stand-in.
Candelaria played as a center in the Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN), the top tier basketball league in the Puerto Rico, for 2 seasons with the Piratas de Quebradillas in 1971 and 1972. When he announced he was leaving the Quebradillas basketball "Pirates" for the Pittsburgh Pirates, many were skeptical. The local newspaper featured him pitching a basketball on the front page of the sports section. He had attended La Salle Academy in lower Manhattan and gained fame as a basketball center, including leading his team to a championship in 1971.
Candelaria had his best season in 1977, when he was 20–5 with a 2.34 ERA in 230.2 innings pitched, and he was a member of the 1979 World Series champion Pirates team. On August 9, 1976, Candelaria no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 at Three Rivers Stadium; it was the first no-hitter pitched by a Pirate in Pittsburgh since Nick Maddox at Exposition Park in 1907. Candelaria's second post-season appearance with the Pirates (he pitched Game 3 in the 1975 NLCS) came in their World Series championship season of 1979. Candelaria started Game 1 of the 1979 NLCS and pitched seven innings of two-run ball against the Reds with a painful shoulder. The Pirates won the game 5-2 in 11 innings. In the 1979 World Series, Candelaria had a rough Game 3, giving up five runs in 4 innings as the Pirates lost 8-4 to the Orioles. Candelaria redeemed himself in a crucial Game 6 by combining with Kent Tekulve to pitch a 4-0 shutout.
Candelaria, who stood 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m) and wielded a mid- to upper-90s fastball with natural movement, remained an effective starter for the Pirates through the 1984 season. He suffered personal tragedy on Christmas morning 1984, when his 18-month-old son John Jr. fell into the family's swimming pool at their home in Sarasota, Florida. John Jr. spent five weeks in intensive care and was then transitioned to home, where he received nursing care 24 hours per day. He was readmitted to the hospital multiple times. John Jr. died in a Pittsburgh hospital in November 1985.
Candelaria was moved to the bullpen in 1985. In response to the change, Candelaria called general manager Harding Peterson "a bozo"; he said that the team's ownership valued its racehorses more than its baseball players. He posted nine saves out of the Pittsburgh bullpen, which ended up being a team high on a 57-win team. In early August, the team traded Candelaria to the California Angels. At the time, he was one of only two Pirates that remained from the 1979 championship team, the other being Don Robinson. The Angels immediately made him a starter again and he went 7-3 down the stretch in 1985 and helped the Angels into the 1986 ALCS with a 10-2 record. Candelaria later said that the trade to a contending team had been a positive change for him.
Candelaria played for both New York teams (Mets and Yankees), both Los Angeles teams (Dodgers and Angels) and both Canadian teams (Blue Jays and Expos). He finished his career in Pittsburgh in 1993, making him the only Pirates player from the 1979 team to play for the Pirates during their twenty consecutive losing seasons.
At the age of two, Candelaria's son, John Robert, fell into a coma after a 1984 swimming accident. He died one year later.
Blue Moon Odom & Francisco Barrios
| No-hitter pitcher
August 9, 1976
| AL Comeback Player of the Year
The 1978 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 97th season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 92nd in the National League. The Pirates finished second in the National League East with a record of 88–73.1979 World Series
The 1979 World Series was the 76th edition of Major League Baseball's championship series and the conclusion of the 1979 Major League Baseball season. A best-of-seven playoff, it was played between the National League (NL) champion Pittsburgh Pirates (98–64) and the American League (AL) champion Baltimore Orioles (102–57), with the Pirates becoming the fourth team in World Series history to come back from a three games to one deficit to win the Series in seven games. This marked the second time in the 1970s the Pirates won a World Series Game 7 on the road against Baltimore Orioles, the previous time being in the 1971 World Series. The Pirates were famous for adopting Sister Sledge's hit anthem "We Are Family" as their theme song.
Willie Stargell, pitcher Bruce Kison, and catcher Manny Sanguillén were the only players left over from the Pirates team that defeated the Orioles in the 1971 World Series, and Orioles' pitcher Jim Palmer, shortstop Mark Belanger, and manager Earl Weaver were the only remaining Orioles from the 1971 team. Grant Jackson pitched for the Orioles in the 1971 series and for the Pirates in the 1979 series.
In this Series, it was the American League team's "turn" to play by National League rules, meaning no designated hitter and the Orioles' pitchers would have to bat. While this resulted in Tim Stoddard getting his first major league hit and RBI in Game 4, overall, it hurt the Orioles because Lee May, their designated hitter for much of the season and a key part of their offense, was only able to bat three times in the whole series.
Willie Stargell, the series MVP, hit .400 with a record seven extra-base hits and matched Reggie Jackson's record of 25 total bases, set in 1977.
The 1979 Pirates were the last team to win Game 7 of a World Series on the road until the San Francisco Giants defeated the Royals in Kansas City to win Game 7 of the 2014 Series. They were also the last road team to win Game 7 of a championship round, in any major league sport, until the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2–1 at Joe Louis Arena to win the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals. With the Steelers having already won Super Bowl XIII, Pittsburgh also became the second city to win both the Super Bowl and the World Series in the same year, with the New York Jets and the New York Mets winning titles in 1969. New York repeated the feat in 1986 (New York Mets and New York Giants), as did the New England area in the 2004 season (Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots) and the 2018 season (Red Sox and Patriots).1984 Philadelphia Phillies season
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team based in Philadelphia in the United States of America. Below are details about their 1984 playing season.1985 California Angels season
The California Angels 1985 season involved the Angels taking 2nd place in the American League West with a 90-72 record, finishing one game behind the eventual World Series champions, the Kansas City Royals.1986 American League Championship Series
The 1986 American League Championship Series was a back-and-forth battle between the Boston Red Sox and the California Angels for the right to advance to the 1986 World Series to face the winner of the 1986 National League Championship Series. The Red Sox came in with a 95–66 record and the AL East division title, while the Angels went 92–70 during the regular season to win the AL West.1986 California Angels season
The California Angels' 1986 season was the franchise's 26th season and ended with the Angels losing the American League Championship Series in dramatic fashion.
The regular season ended with the Angels finishing 1st in the American League West with a record of 92-70, earning the franchise's third division title. After jumping to a 3-1 series lead over the Boston Red Sox in the best-of-seven ALCS, the Angels blew a 3-run lead in the 9th inning of Game 5 that included giving up a two-out, two-strike home run to Boston's Dave Henderson (in other words, the Angels were 1 strike away from the World Series). The Angels went on to lose Game 5 in extra innings, and eventually lost the next two games and the series.
After 1986, the Angels went into a lengthy playoff drought, not returning to the postseason until their championship season of 2002 (though they did come close in 1995). They would not win a division title again until 2004.1987 California Angels season
The California Angels 1987 season involved the Angels finishing 6th in the American League west with a record of 75 wins and 87 losses.1987 New York Mets season
The New York Mets' 1987 season was the 26th regular season for the Mets. They went 92-70 and finished 2nd in the NL East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. The team played home games at Shea Stadium.1988 New York Yankees season
The New York Yankees' 1988 season was the 86th season for the Yankees. The team finished with a record of 85-76, finishing in fifth place, 3.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Lou Piniella and Billy Martin, with the latter managing the team for the fifth and final time. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.1989 New York Yankees season
The New York Yankees' 1989 season was the 87th season for the Yankees. The team finished with a record of 74-87, finishing in fifth place, 14.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays. New York was managed by Dallas Green and Bucky Dent. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.1990 Minnesota Twins season
The 1990 Minnesota Twins, three years after their World Series title in 1987, fell to the bottom of the AL West once again. However, the season was not completely bad, as there were some bright spots that included pitchers Rick Aguilera and Scott Erickson. Aguilera converted from starter to closer and recorded 32 saves, while Erickson was promoted to the Twins in June from AA and went 8-4 with a 3.27 ERA. During Fan Appreciation Day on October 3, Outfielder Dan Gladden made a prediction on saying that even though we finished in last place this season, we're going to improve next season and if we did, they could potentially bring another World Series championship to Minnesota. That prediction proved accurate the next year.1993 Pittsburgh Pirates season
The 1993 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 112th in franchise history; the 107th in the National League. This was their 24th season at Three Rivers Stadium. This season saw the three-time defending National League East champions fall to 5th place in the division with a 75–87 record. In the offseason, the National League expanded to 14 teams and Barry Bonds left the Pirates and signed with the San Francisco Giants. This season was the first of the Pirates record setting twenty straight losing seasons.Bob Kipper
Robert Wayne Kipper (born July 8, 1964) is an American professional baseball coach and a former middle-relief pitcher in Major League Baseball. In 2018, he will begin his third different term as the pitching coach of the Greenville Drive of the Single-A South Atlantic League. Kipper has also spent two terms (2002 and the final seven weeks of the 2015 season) as bullpen coach of the parent Boston Red Sox.A native of Aurora, Illinois, Kipper, a left-hander, stood 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and weighed 200 pounds (91 kg) during his active career. After graduating from Aurora Central Catholic High School, he was selected by the California Angels with the eighth pick in the first round of the 1982 Major League Baseball Draft. He had signed to play baseball at Nebraska before his selection. Kipper led the Class A California League in wins (18) and earned run average (2.04) as his league's "pitcher of the year" in 1984. He made his MLB debut with the Angels in April 1985 at age 20, but was ineffective in two games pitched and was returned to the minor leagues. Then, on August 16, 1985, the contending Angels included Kipper in a six-player trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates that netted them veterans John Candelaria, George Hendrick and Al Holland. Kipper would pitch in 247 games for the Pirates over all or parts of seven seasons (1985–91)—initially as a starter, but then as a relief specialist—before finishing his MLB career for the Minnesota Twins in 1992.
In his eight-season MLB career, Kipper posted a 27–37 record with a 4.43 ERA and 11 saves in 271 appearances. He allowed 527 hits and 217 bases on balls, with 369 strikeouts, and 562 innings pitched.
Following his playing retirement, Kipper has worked as a pitching coach in independent league baseball and in the minor leagues. A member of the Boston Red Sox organization since 1999, he has coached for their Lowell Spinners (1999), Augusta GreenJackets (2000–01), Greenville Drive (2005–06; 2008–09; 2018), Lancaster JetHawks (2007), Portland Sea Dogs (2003–04; 2010–14), and Pawtucket Red Sox (2015–17) affiliates, working with teams from short-season leagues to Triple-A.
Kipper spent the full 2002 season as bullpen coach of the MLB Red Sox. Thirteen years later, on August 16, 2015, he was named Boston's interim bullpen coach, part of a chain reaction of moves driven by manager John Farrell's medical leave of absence for treatment of lymphoma. In Farrell's absence, bench coach Torey Lovullo became acting manager and bullpen coach Dana LeVangie became acting bench coach.Jerry Reuss
Jerry Reuss (born June 19, 1949)—pronounced "royce"—is a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball, best known for his years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had a 22-year career from 1969 to 1990.
Reuss played for eight teams in his major league career; along with the Dodgers (1979–87), he played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1969–71), Houston Astros (1972–73), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1974–78). At the end of his career (1987–90), he played for the Cincinnati Reds, California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Pirates again (Reuss is one of only two Pirates to have played for Danny Murtaugh, Chuck Tanner, and Jim Leyland, the other being John Candelaria). In 1988 he became the second pitcher in history, joining Milt Pappas, to win 200 career games without ever winning 20 in a single season. Reuss is one of only 29 players in major league history to play in four different decades.Left-handed specialist
In baseball, a left-handed specialist (also known as lefty specialist) is a relief pitcher who throws left-handed and specializes in pitching to left-handed batters, weak right-handed batters, and switch-hitters who bat poorly right-handed. Because baseball practices permanent substitution, these pitchers frequently pitch to a very small number of batters in any given game (often only one), and rarely pitch to strictly right-handed batters. Most Major League Baseball (MLB) teams have several left-handed pitchers on their rosters, at least one of whom is a left-handed specialist. A left-handed specialist is sometimes called a LOOGY (or Lefty One-Out GuY), coined by John Sickels, and may be used pejoratively.The pitcher generally has an advantage when his handedness is the same as the batter's, and the batter has an advantage when they are opposite. This is because a right-handed pitcher's curveball breaks to the left, from his own point of view, which causes it to cross the plate with its lateral movement away from a right-handed batter but towards a left-handed batter (and vice versa for a left-handed pitcher), and because batters generally find it easier to hit a ball that is over the plate. Furthermore, since most pitchers are right-handed, left-handed batters generally have less experience with left-handed pitchers. A left-handed pitcher may also be brought in to face a switch-hitter who generally bats left-handed, forcing the batter to shift to his less-effective right-handed stance or to take the disadvantages of batting left-handed against a left-handed pitcher. Research from 2011-2013 has shown that a pinch hitter (usually right-handed) is often used when a left-handed reliever is inserted in the game, thereby reducing or negating the pitcher's platoon split advantage. Only a handful of left-handed relievers face a higher percentage of left-handed batters than right-handed batters over the course of a season.In the 1991 MLB season, there were 28 left-handed relievers who were not their team's closer and pitched 45 or more games. Only four averaged fewer than an inning per appearance. From 2001 to 2004, over 75 percent of left handed relievers meeting those criteria averaged less than one inning. Left-handed reliever John Candelaria was one of the early specialists in 1991, pitching 59 games and averaged .571 innings. In 1992, he allowed no earned runs—excluding inherited runners—in 43 of the 50 games. Jesse Orosco became a left-handed specialist later in his 24-season career and retired at the age of 46. From 1991 to 2003, he never averaged more than an inning pitched per appearance.During the 2013 MLB season, there were seven relief pitchers who averaged less than two outs recorded per appearance, all of whom were left-handed. Joe Thatcher, a left-handed specialist, appeared in 72 games with 39.2 innings pitched, and had the fewest outs recorded per appearance with 1.6. Starting with the 2020 season, all pitchers, whether starters or relievers, will be required to face at least three batters, or pitch to the end of the half-inning in which they enter the game. Exceptions will be allowed only for incapacitating injury or illness while pitching. According to MLB.com journalist Anthony Castrovince, "This will effectively end the so-called “LOOGY” (left-handed one-out guy) and other specialist roles in which pitchers are brought in for one very specific matchup."Nick Maddox
Nicholas Maddox (November 9, 1886 in Govanstown, Maryland – November 27, 1954 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1907 through 1910 for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Maddox is one of the few pitchers to throw a no-hitter in his rookie season.
He defeated the Brooklyn Superbas 2–1 at Pittsburgh's Exposition Park on September 20, 1907, one week after pitching a 4–0 shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals in his major league debut. At the age of 20 years and ten months, he became the youngest pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter in major league history.
Not until Cliff Chambers in 1951 would another Pirate pitch a no-hitter, and the next no-hitter in Pittsburgh would not come until 1971, when Bob Gibson of the Cardinals no-hit the Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium, nor would another Pirate pitch a no-hitter in Pittsburgh until John Candelaria did so in 1976. The Pirates' home stadium in between, Forbes Field, had not witnessed a no-hitter in its 61-year (mid-1909 to mid-1970) history. Through 2013, Maddox is still the youngest pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the majors.
Maddox was also the last Pirate to win his first 4 career starts (in 1907) until the feat was matched by Gerrit Cole in 2013. William F. Kirk of the New York American in 1908 called Maddox a "a well formed youth with a face like a dried apple."
After his rookie season, Maddox spent two more years with the Pirates as a starting pitcher and finished his career in 1910 as a relief pitcher. In his career, he had 43 wins, 20 losses, and a 2.29 earned run average.Paul Wagner
Paul Allen Wagner (born November 14, 1967) is an American former Major League Baseball player. A pitcher, Wagner played for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1992—1997), Milwaukee Brewers (1997—1998), and Cleveland Indians (1999).
On August 29, 1995, while with the Pirates, Wagner had a no-hitter broken up against the Colorado Rockies with two out in the ninth on an Andrés Galarraga single. It was the only hit Wagner would allow in defeating the Rockies 4–0. The no-hitter would have been the first by a Pirate since John Candelaria in 1976.
Wagner finished his 8-year career with a 4.83 ERA. He pitched in 598.2 innings, allowing 640 hits and 321 earned runs.
In 160 appearances, Wagner handled 137 total chances (50 putouts, 87 assists) without an error for a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
Wagner lives in Neosho, Wisconsin.