Milo Candini may not be enshrined in Cooperstown but he is arguably the greatest Major League Baseball player ever to hail from Manteca.
Milo Candini Drive — the street that Manteca’s Big League Dreams sports complex is located on — is named in his honor.
The Manteca native signed a professional baseball contract with the New York Yankees in 1936. He was later traded to and played for the Washington Senators of the American League.
He pitched to all-time baseball legend Lou Gehrig, hit a home run to the deepest reaches of Monument Valley at Yankee Stadium and guarded President Truman on opening day in 1949.
Candini played for the now famous 1950 Philadelphia Whiz Kids. He played eight years in the majors and 13 years in the minor leagues.
His major league record was 26 wins, 21 losses; .533 winning percentage; started 37 games; had 13 complete games; pitched a total of 537.2 innings; five shutouts; and won 12 games in relief with eight saves.
He has 144 plate appearances with a respectable .243 batting average. As a fielder, he committed a minuscule three errors for a .987 fielding percentage.
Candini graduated from Manteca High in 1935. He played football, basketball and baseball all four years for the Buffaloes.
As a freshman, he played in the outfield on the Manteca baseball team. As a sophomore, he pitched sparingly. He was the ace of the pitching staff his junior and senior years.
He once struck out 21 in a single game while playing for the Buffaloes.
After his senior year, Candini signed with the Yankees organization.
Candini ended his pro career in 1958 as a member of the Sacramento Solons after 21 years in organized baseball.
He returned to Manteca where he resided until his death in 1998.
Candini is an inductee in the Manteca Hall of Fame as well as the San Joaquin Sports Hall of Fame.