Tom Candiotti

Candiotti was released by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1985 after six years in the minors and two major league trials. He was in winter ball, working on a knuckler, when the Cleveland Indians signed him. The surprise of their 1986 staff, he led the team with 16 wins and a 3.57 ERA, and topped the AL with 17 complete games. As the Indians fell in 1987, so did Candiotti, going 7-18 despite throwing two one-hitters; he lost one of them.

In 1992, he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom he would spend the next six years. Though he pitched solidly for most of his stay in LA, he didn’t post a winning record until 1997 when he ended up with a 10-7 mark and a 3.60 ERA. Despite his success that season, Candiotti joined the Oakland Athletics in 1998, winning 11 times against 16 defeats in 33 starts. The following season, split between Oakland and Cleveland, would prove to be his last.

Candiotti later parlayed his success as a knuckleballer into a cinematic career. When actor and director Billy Crystal made his 2001 movie 61*, chronicling the 1961 season of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, Candiotti was the logical choice to play Hoyt Wilhelm.