Thomas Caesar Candiotti
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 200 lb.
- School Saint Mary's College of California
- High School Concord (CA) High School
- Debut August 8, 1983
- Final Game July 24, 1999
- Born August 31, 1957 in Walnut Creek, CA USA
"Trying to hit his knuckler is like trying to swat a fly - you always seem to miss it. You see it coming and you wait and wait and wait. Then you swing and you're out in front of it." - Jody Reed
Knuckleballer Tom Candiotti won 151 games over 16 seasons in the majors.
Candiotti began his pro career with the unaffiliated Victoria Mussels of the Northwest League in 1979, going 5-1 with a 2.44 ERA before being signed by the Kansas City Royals prior to the 1980 season. After one year in the Royals system, he was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the minor league portion of the 1980 Rule V draft. He suffered an elbow injury that year and underwent a still relatively new procedure performer by Dr. Frank Jobe, Tommy John surgery. He missed the entire 1982 campaign but came back in 1983 and reached the big leagues, becoming the second player after the surgery's namesake, Tommy John to pitch in the majors after the operation. In 10 games for the Brewers that year, he went 4-4 with a 3.23 ERA.
Candiotti struggled for Milwaukee in 1984, going 2-2 with a 5.29 ERA in 8 games, and spent the entire next season in the minors, transitioning from a conventional pitcher to a knuckleballer. He became a free agent and signed with the Cleveland Indians for 1986. Alongside fellow knuckleballer Phil Niekro in the rotation, he won 16 games and led the American League with 17 complete games. Relying mostly on his knuckler, he also threw a curveball and a "credible" fastball to keep hitters off balance, and he went on to win at least ten games seven more times. He would go on to pitch in the majors until 1999, when he was nearly 42 years old.
Candiotti became the second celebrity bowler of the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame in 2007, following Jerome Bettis. He averaged over 200 in leagues in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Candiotti is the brother-In-Law of Brad Wellman.
- AL Complete Games Leader (1986)
- 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (1986 & 1990)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons; 9 (1986-1993 & 1998)
- Maryann Hudson: "He's the Last of a Breed: Dodgers' Knuckleballer Candiotti Says He's a Dinosaur", The San Francisco Chronicle, August 2, 1994, pp. D4-.
- Russell Schneider: "Tom Candiotti", in Whatever Happened to "Super Joe"?: Catching Up with 45 Good Old Guys from the Bad Old Days of the Cleveland Indians, Gray & Company, Cleveland, OH, pp. 47-51. ISBN 978-1598510270
- K.P. Wee: No Runs, No Wins, No Glory: A Look Back at Tom Candiotti's Frustrating 1993 Season, Lulu.com, Raleigh, NC, 2008. ISBN 978-1435742970
- K.P. Wee: Tom Candiotti: A Life of Knuckleballs, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2014. ISBN 978-0786494255