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From McFarland and Company, Publishers:

CANDY CUMMINGS: The Life and Career of the Inventor of the Curveball


Stephen Robert Katz












This is the first full-length biography of the nineteenth century baseball star, Candy Cummings. One of the greatest pitchers of his era, Cummings was also the inventor of the curveball—the pitch that helped make baseball what it is today. His stamp on the game earned him a place in the pantheon of baseball’s immortals, the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York.


The book begins by exploring Candy’s prominent family background and New England Congregationalist heritage, which shaped his character and personality. Against the backdrop of baseball’s development from the 1850s through the 1870s, it chronicles his rise to the top of the baseball world, from pitching on amateur teams in mid-1860s Brooklyn to playing on clubs in the first major league, and then the newly-formed National League. It discusses the curveball and its transformative effect on baseball. And it addresses claims by other pitchers that they, not Cummings, originated the pitch. With a critical, detailed analysis of the evidence, the book puts any lingering doubts to rest and shows that Cummings was, indeed, the inventor of the curveball.

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