An Auto A Day … #2
Tom Candiotti never was overpowering, but no matter how you look at it, it takes a special skill set to spend more than 15 years in the Major Leagues. A career that long doesn’t happen by accident. Candiotti dazzled batters at times with his knuckleball during the 1980s and the 1990s as he spent time with six teams during his 16-year career. He twice led the league is games lost and ended his career in 1999 with a career record of 151-164, but a respectable ERA of 3.73.
As noted, Candiotti wasn’t an upper echelon pitcher, but one of those hurlers who’ll never be forgotten by those who had the chance to watch him. And in case you missed him during his playing careers, you can always relieve a bit of Candiotti when you pop in Billy Crystal’s flick “*61″.” Candiotti was cast to play Hall of Fame knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm, who in the flick pitches for the Orioles and is called upon to pitch to Roger Maris even though it’s not a traditional closing situation. Candiotti’s performance s masterful. (hope you get the sarcasm).
Card wise Candiotti has three true rookie cards, 1984 Topps, Donruss and Fleer. In terms of autographs, he technically has four: There is the basic 1996 Leaf Signature shown above, and then two parallels of the same card. And according to Beckett.com, there is a fourth one but it is a 1/1 cut signature from In The Game. Not really sure why that card exists, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the signature is probably a cut up 1996 Leaf card. Go figure.