Former Major League Baseball knuckleball pitcher Tom Candiotti rolls his way into Bowling Hall of Fame

    05/08/07

    United States

    Life-Long Bowler and Arizona Diamondbacks announcer is honored as Celebrity Inductee

    Former Major League Baseball (MLB) knuckleball pitcher Tom Candiotti has thrown many strikes in his career, but it's the strikes he rolls on the bowling lanes that earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

    The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame has announced that Candiotti, a radio analyst for the Arizona Diamondbacks and life-long bowler, is the second inductee into the Celebrities Bowling Hall of Fame. Candiotti will be honored at the Bowling Proprietor's Association of America's (BPAA) International Bowl Expo on June 27, 2007 at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay during the Museum's annual "Salute to Bowling" fundraising event. An avid and excellent bowler, Candiotti always travels with his bowling ball and makes bowling a priority when on the road with the Diamondbacks throughout the season. He is a member of the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) through its Metro Phoenix local association and holds a 200+ average in his league at Brunswick Via Linda Lanes in Scottsdale, AZ. "Bowling remains the largest participatory sport in America, enjoyed by more than 66 million people of all ages every year. Tom embodies all that is great about bowling and his commitment and love of the game makes him an ideal ambassador and a perfect addition to the Hall of Fame," said Joe Schumacker, president, BPAA. In Candiotti's honor, the BPAA has established The Tom Candiotti Youth Bowling Initiative to support youth bowling. The program will award grants to bowling centers and youth-focused organizations to encourage bowling among today's youth and provide them with the necessary skills to enhance the fun and competitiveness of bowling. "Bowling has always been an important part of my life. I spent much of my youth at bowling centers, and even as my career took me to cities across the country, I always made time to bowl. I hope that through The Tom Candiotti Youth Bowling Initiative, more children will have the opportunity to fall in love with bowling like I did," said Candiotti. "Being inducted into the Hall is an incredible honor - it is surreal that I will be enshrined along with so many of my bowling idols." "Tom's deep enthusiasm for bowling mirrors the passion shared by millions of Americans," said Gerald W. Baltz, executive director of the Museum. "His induction as a Celebrity Bowler recognizes his efforts to advance awareness of bowling among younger generations and it is gratifying he is also such a skilled bowler. His many years of 200+ averages and his 729 3-game series last month, including a 300 game, certainly attest to that skill!" Candiotti will be recognized in the Celebrities exhibit at the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in St. Louis this summer, joining former NFL great Jerome Bettis. Candiotti enjoyed a 16-year career as a MLB right-handed knuckleball pitcher, winning 10 or more games in seven different seasons. In 1980, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers, where he played for two seasons before joining the Cleveland Indians in 1985. Candiotti had his best season in 1986 when he won 16 games and had a MLB-leading 17 complete games. Candiotti also played for the Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers before retiring in 1999. He ended his career with 151 wins and 1,735 strikeouts, which, at this time of his retirement, ranked him among the top 100 pitchers of all time. In 2005, Candiotti was nominated to the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. Since leaving the mound, Candiotti has been an ESPN MLB and Little League World Series analyst, featured on the network's popular show "Baseball Tonight," and has shared his baseball expertise as a columnist for ESPN.com. He is currently in his second season as a radio analyst for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame has served the international bowling community for more than two decades by collecting and preserving its history and making that information available worldwide to help promote the sport.