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Candy Nelson

Shortstop
  • Series: 1880s: Spotted Ties
  • City: New York
  • Team: Metropolitans
  • League: American Association

John W. Nelson (1849-1910) has a resumé reading like a history of baseball in New York: Brooklyn Eckfords (1867-69, '72) NY Mutuals ('70,) Troy Haymakers/Trojans ('72, '79,)  NY Metropolitans ('83-87,) NY Giants ('87) and the Brooklyn Gladiators (1890). Candy got out of the Big Apple occasionally, playing for the Indianapolis Blues in '78 and the Worcester Ruby Legs in '81, but otherwise this native of Portland, ME was a fixture in and around the city that never sleeps.

Candy was a right-hander who batted left and was primarily a shortstop for nine franchises in three leagues over a career that saw him become the oldest player in the American Association at age 41 with the Gladiators. That finale came in a season when three major league teams graced the pastures of Brooklyn: the NL's Bridegrooms, the Players' League Ward's Wonders and Nelson's squad. He was not the only team member to hang 'em up after the 1890 campaign. Only three Gladiators continued to play professionally and none of them after July of '91. Candy was the best hitter (and only one to hit over .300) on the '83 Metropolitans as they debuted in the AA under Jim Mutrie.

  • For all nickname aficionados, Baseball-Reference has determined that there have been precisely six “Candys” in the majors, with Hall of Famer Candy Cummings having the greatest renown and Candy Maldonado being the most recent.
  • In 13 seasons, this Candy hit .253

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