Happy Birthday–November 6

Walter Johnson (1887)
Mack Jones (1938)
Jim Gosger (1942)
John Candelaria (1953)
Stine Poole (1958)
Chad Curtis (1968)
Don Wengert (1969)
Bubba Trammell (1971)
Deivi Cruz (1972)
Justin Speier (1973)
Adam LaRoche (1979)
James Paxton (1988)

Walter Johnson, of course, was a star for the franchise when it was in Washington, pitching from 1907 to 1927.

Justin Speier is the son of ex-Twin Chris Speier.

Stine Poole was traded by Detroit to the Twins for Sal Butera and played in the Twins minor league system for two seasons.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to brianS' mom and spookymilk's brother.

Left-hander John Robert Candelaria pitched for the Twins for four months in 1990, near the end of a fairly distinguished career. Known, naturally enough, as The Candy Man, Candelaria was born in New York and was drafted by Pittsburgh in the second round in 1972. A tall man, he had been better known as a basketball player than a baseball player, and many were skeptical of his ability to make it in baseball. He pitched well all through the minors, however, and after a hot start at AAA Charleston in 1975, when he went 7-1 with a 1.77 ERA in ten outings, Candelaria was promoted to the big leagues. He was never a superstar--he only made one all-star team, in 1977, when he won 20 games and led the league in ERA--but he was a solid rotation starter for nearly ten years for Pittsburgh. He was hurt most of 1981, but every other year he pitched over 170 innings and made more than 27 starts. In his time with the Pirates, he made 271 starts, won 124 games, and posted an ERA of 3.17. He was traded to the Angels in August of 1985, which started him bouncing around quite a bit. Candelaria was with the Angels through September of 1987, was traded to the Mets, signed with the Yankees as a free agent in 1988, was traded to Montreal in August of 1989, and was released by the Expos in January of 1990. He had been moved to the bullpen in 1989 due to back problems, and had a down year, but there was no real reason to think he could no longer pitch. Signed by the Twins, he showed he still could, going 7-3 with a 3.39 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 34 appearances, all but one in relief. At the end of July, the Twins traded Candelaria to Toronto for Nelson Liriano and Pedro Munoz. A free agent after the 1990 season, he went on to have two good years in the Dodgers bullpen. He tried to go back to Pittsburgh for a last hurrah in 1993, but had a poor year, was released in July, and retired. Again, he was never a star, but he pitched for 19 seasons, won 177 games, and had a lifetime ERA of 3.33, which is none too shabby. At last report, John Candelaria was living in Davidson, North Carolina, but was described on wikipedia as an avid world traveler.

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday–November 6”

  1. 89 years young. She had a cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate malt at Snuffy's for her birthday.

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