We’re not talking Snickers, Milky Way or M+M’s! Candy in this case refers to Candy Cummings, baseball pitcher and according to many baseball historians the inventor of the curveball. William Arthur Cummings was born October 18, 1848 in Ware, Massachusetts. There is a great bio of Candy on the Society of American Baseball Research site. And the Baseball Hall of Fame (he was elected there in 1939) has some good info about him on their site. His Connecticut connection includes time spent pitching for the old Hartford Dark Blues of the National League in 1875-1876. (I love to see people’s reaction when I tell them little old Hartford used to have a team in the National League!) Here’s a picture of the Blues for that time period:
The Hog River Journal (now Connecticut Explored) has a good article on the Blues. Check out another post from this blog “Tools of Ignorance” about a very famous CT baseball invention in use to this day.
Why was William Arthur Cummings nicknamed “Candy” you ask? It’s a Civil War era term meaning the “best of anything”.