Monday, June 29, 2009

Great Sports Name Hall of Fame Nominee - Candy Maldonado

I remember collecting baseball cards as a kid, and one player whose card I always loved was Candy Maldonado's. I can't remember the year or the make, but this one card series has a big head on the front and a wacky cartoon picture on the back, with a fun fact about the player. Candy's fun fact? His birth name is really Candy, which I thought was AWESOME.

Candy "The 4th Out" Maldonado Guadarrama was a homerun hitter for a bunch of different teams from 1981 to 1995. He never hit a ton of homeruns (22 in 1990 was his most), but a .254 lifetime average and career rate of 28 at bats per homerun will gain you the heavy hitter label. Think of him as a
poorhomeless man's version of Adam Dunn.

Other highlights of The Candyman's career? At one point in a SF game with the Cardinals, Will Clark slid into Ozzie Smith pretty hard and started a fight. Clark ended up getting ganged up on until Candy left the dugout and socked Ozzie in the face, ending it. Apparently Candy was a badass. He also hit for the cycle once in 1987, scored the first Indians run in Progressive Jacobs Field History, finished 21st in the 1986 MVP voting, helped the Giants lose the 1987 NLCS and helped the Blue Jays win the World Series in 1992. All things considered, a pretty solid career. He also contributed Color Commentary to the reecnt World Baseball Classic for ESPN Deportes.

One more fun fact? His nickname, "The Candyman," inspired a television pilot of a crime fighting baseball player. It didn't end up getting shot, since 1992 also saw the release of the awesome Candyman, but in 2000 a pilot was created (with the same idea) under the name "The Crime Dog," a reference to my all time favorite player, Fred McGriff. Anything that relates you to Fred McGriff makes you awesome in my book Candy, so I wish you the best of luck in your run at the Truly Great Names of the Great Sports Name Hall of Fame!

To see the best sports names of all time, visit the Truly Great Names page.
To see some good sports names that were voted out, visit the Good Names page.
To see the current voting ballot, visit the Ballot page.

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