Casey Candaele

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Casey Candaele
Utility
Born: (1961-01-12) January 12, 1961 (age 53)
Lompoc, California
Batted: Both Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 5, 1986 for the Montreal Expos
Last MLB appearance
July 13, 1997 for the Cincinnati Reds
Career statistics
Batting average .250
Home runs 11
RBIs 139
Teams

Casey Todd Candaele (born January 12, 1961 in Lompoc, California) is a former Major League Baseball player from 1986 to 1997 for the Montreal Expos, Houston Astros, and Cleveland Indians. Candaele was known as a versatile utility player who could play many infield and outfield positions. His mother, Helen Callaghan St. Aubin, played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was depicted in the movie A League of Their Own. Casey and his mother represent the only mother/son combination to have both played professional baseball.[1]

Baseball career[edit]

The 5' 9", 165 pounds (75 kg) switch hitter was born in Lompoc, California on January 12, 1961. Candaele attended the University of Arizona, where he played collegiate baseball for the Wildcats and was a part of the 1980 College World Series champion team. He was signed by the Montreal Expos on August 15, 1982 as an amateur free agent.[2]

Candaele split the 1983 season between Class A and Class AA baseball. With the West Palm Beach Expos of the Class A Florida State League, he batted .305 in 127 games; he played 5 games for the Memphis Chicks of the Class AA Southern League. He played the 1984 season with the Jacksonville Suns, batting .273 in 132 games with the team. He played the next two seasons with the Class AAA Indianapolis Indians of the American Association, batting .259 in 302 games in 1985 and finishing the 1986 season with a .302 average in 119 games.[3]

Candaele made his major league debut for the Expos on June 5, 1986, pinch hitting for pitcher Dan Schatzeder and striking out against Charles Hudson, in a 7–3 to the Philadelphia Phillies at Olympic Stadium.[4] He finished the 1986 season with 24 hits in 104 at-bats for a batting average of .231.

In 1987, his first full year in the major leagues, Candaele batted .272 with one home run and 23 RBI in 138 games.[2] He struck out just 28 times in 495 plate appearances. He played second base, shortstop, all three outfield positions, and first base. He came in fourth in balloting for the 1987 Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award in the National League, an award that ultimately went to catcher Benito Santiago of the San Diego Padres.[5] Candaele played the first half of the 1988 season with the Expos, batting .172 in 38 games, with 20 hits in 116 at bats.[2] He played in 60 games for the Indianapolis Indians in 1988, batting .264 in 60 games.[3]

The Expos traded Candaele on July 23, 1988, to the Houston Astros in exchange for catcher Mark Bailey. With the Astros that season, he played in 21 games, with his 5 hits in 31 at bats yielding a .161 batting average.[2] He played in 17 games with the Tucson Toros of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League in the Astros organization, hitting for a .258 average.[3] He played in 130 games for the Astros in 1990, hitting for a .286 average with 3 home runs.[2] That season he also played in 7 games for the Toros, hitting for a .214 average.[3] He played the entire 1991 season with the Astros, finishing the season with an average of .262, and having career highs with 151 games played and 4 home runs to go along with 7 triples, which placed him ninth in the National league in that category.[2] His average dropped to .213 for the 1992 season, with Candaele playing in 135 games.[2] Candaele split the 1993 season, playing 75 games with the Astros and hitting .240, with another 6 games played in Tucson, where he batted .296.[2][3]

On October 4, 1993, he was granted free agency by the Astros, and he was signed on November 24 by the Cincinnati Reds.[2] He played the entire 1994 season with the Indianapolis Indians, by then the Reds' AAA affiliate, and hit for a .282 average in 131 games with the team.[3]

He was released by the Reds on October 15, 1994 and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on February 1, 1995.[2] He played for the Albuquerque Dukes of the Pacific Coast League in the Dodgers organization, hitting .259 in 12 games.[3]

The Dodgers released Candaele on April 26, 1995, and he was picked up as a free agent by the Cleveland Indians on May 5.[2] He played most of the 1995 season with the Buffalo Bisons of the American Association, hitting for a .247 average in 97 games with the team.[3] In 24 games for the Indians in 1996, he hit for a .250 average.[2] His last major league season was in 1997, which he finished with a .308 average in 14 games.[2] His final game was on July 13, 1997, against the Minnesota Twins, in which Candaele came in the game in the seventh inning to replace Julio Franco at second base, with his final at bat resulting in a fly out to left field in the ninth inning of a 12–5 win.[6] He also played 79 games for the Bisons in the 1997 season, finishing with a .228 batting average. He played another three seasons shuffling around the minors, retiring after the 2000 season.[2]

Nickname[edit]

Houston Astros Hall of Fame announcer Milo Hamilton called Candaele the "Mighty Mite" for his aggressive play despite his diminutive size.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Casey's brother is filmmaker Kelly Candaele, whose PBS documentary about the AAGPBL led to the creation of the 1992 film A League of Their Own directed by Penny Marshall.[7] His mother Helen Callaghan, one of the best players in the league's history, won a batting title while collecting a .257 batting average and 354 stolen bases in her 388 game career over five seasons.[8] Interestingly, Candaele's .250 career batting average was seven points lower than his mother's.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Staff. "Passion: Casey Candaele & Helen Callaghan", International Baseball Federation, p. 19. Accessed July 12, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Casey Candaele, Baseball-Reference. Accessed July 11, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Casey Candaele: Minor League statistics, Baseball-Reference. Accessed July 11, 2009.
  4. ^ Jun 5, 1986, Phillies at Expos Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed July 12, 2009.
  5. ^ NL Rookie of the Year Voting, Baseball-Reference. Accessed July 12, 2009.
  6. ^ Jul 13, 1997, Indians at Twins Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed July 12, 2009.
  7. ^ Candaele, Kerry. "The History of Women's Baseball", Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Issue Twenty Three, March 2010. Accessed September 5, 2011. "Not until my brother Kelly began making a documentary about the League in 1987, a film called A League of Their Own (later translated into a feature film starring Tom Hanks and Madonna), did the AAGPBL find its slot in sports history."
  8. ^ Thomas, Robert McG., Jr. "Helen St. Aubin, 69, Athlete Who Inspired Film", The New York Times, December 11, 1992. Accessed July 12, 2009.

External links[edit]