Candy Cummings Baseball Stats and Facts by The Baseball Page
Candy Cummings is best known for being the innovator of the curveball. Cummings says that he discovered the idea of the curveball while studying the movement seashells made when thrown. After noticing this movement, he began to attempt to make the same motion with a baseball, thus creating the curveball. He would later recall from that game: "I became fully convinced that I had succeeded ... the batters were missing a lot of balls; I began to watch the flight of the ball through the air, and distinctly saw it curve."
Years of experimentation followed as he perfected the twisting pitch, and discovered that it worked best when thrown into the wind. He wore a kid glove on his pitching hand to prevent blisters, and once broke his wrist throwing the pitch. The 5'9" 120-lb Cummings felt he needed the advantage of the deceptive curveball because he was small even as an adult. His fame spread on the amateur diamond as he earned the nickname "Candy," a term of admiration.
Many pitchers claimed that they invented the curveball including Fred Goldsmith, but it was with support from heralded sportswriter Henry Chadwick that Cummings was given the title of inventor of the curveball.
Cummings began playing professional baseball at the age of 17 with the Brooklyn Excelsior baseball club from the NABBP. During a six-year career, which lasted from 1872 until 1877, Cummings compiled a 145-94 career record and 2.49 ERA while playing for five different teams. Among other records, Cummings was the first player to record two complete games in one day: September 9, 1876 when he beat the Cincinnati Reds 14-4 and 8-4. Two complete games in one day.
Out of 241 games started, Cummings completed 233 with 19 shutouts. Can you imagine that today? He pitched 2,149.2 innings in a six-year career. He pitched 497 innings in 1872 alone. He posted a win-percentage of .607 over six years in the majors.
Cummings was elected to The Hall of Fame in 1939 after posting a career total of 145-94 with an ERA of 2.49. While his career was short lived by modern standards, Cummings was elected by the Veterans Committee to join the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. He went into the Hall of Fame as a Pioneer and Executive. Cummings went on to become the President of the International Association of Professional Base Ball Players after retiring from the Cincinnati Reds in 1877.
- Baseball History, Brooklyn Dodgers, Candy Cummings, Hall of Fame, Henry Chadwick, International Baseball Federation presidents, curveball