Sunday, February 14, 2010

Name: John Candelaria             
Nickname: The Candy Man
Position: Starting Pitcher
Throws: Left
Bats:  Left                                                    
Number(s): 45, 49

Years Played As an Angel: 1985-1987
Angels’ Stats: 25-11, 3.77 ERA, 279.1 IPs, 208 Strikeouts
Career Stats: 177-122, 3.33 ERA, 2525.2 IPs, 1673 Strikeouts

How He Was Acquired: Candelaria was part of a six-player trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 3, 1985. He arrived with pitcher Al Holland and outfielder George Hendrick in exchange for outfielder Mike Brown, pitcher Pat Clements and a player to be named later.

Why You Should Know Him: Candelaria was the winning pitcher in a 5-3 victory over the Red Sox that gave the Angels a 2-1 series lead in their 1986 ALCS matchup, but he took the loss in an 8-1 defeat in Game Seven. He later had a very public spat with former Angels teammate Don Sutton, claiming Sutton had called the police to tip them off before they arrested Candelaria for the first of two DUIs in 1987. Candelaria claimed that Sutton was trying to save his own job by getting Candelaria arrested.

Memorable Moments/Games: Candelaria was a key pickup for the Angels in 1986, finishing with a 10-2 record, a 2.55 ERA and one shutout in 16 starts. His first three starts for the Angels were a 14-3 win over Milwaukee, a 12-3 win over Boston and a 9-3 win over Toronto. His 8-3 win over Texas clinched the American League West for the Angels, giving them a 10-game cushion with nine games left.  

Anecdotes and Quotes: Candelaria stood 6’7” and his fastball was clocked in the high 90s during the early part of his career. Originally scouted by the Dodgers, he was in line to sign with them until he appeared at a tryout wearing a shirt that had a marijuana leaf on it and the caption “try some, you’ll like it.” The Dodgers loss was the Pirates gain. Candelaria later threw a no-hitter against the Dodgers in 1976. 

Where is He Now?:  Candelaria lives in Davidson, N.C. and is an avid world traveler.

Contributed by Brett Borden - Columnist
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