In my first article on MLB players from Brooklyn, N.Y., I realized that another story was warranted in order to satisfy the masses while doing Brooklyn baseball justice.
Therefore, I am including another set of MLB players from the “Borough of Kings.”
John Halama played ball at the now-defunct Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School in Kensington, Brooklyn.
Halama attended St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights before the Houston Astros drafted him in the 23rd round of the 1994 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Not known for his high-velocity fastball, Halama used his offspeed stuff and pitching intelligence to survive nine years in MLB with the Astros, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, and Baltimore Orioles.
Halama posted a solid 56-48 MLB record with a 4.65 ERA and later spent some time in independent baseball with the Long Island Ducks, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, Lancaster Barnstormers, and York Revolution, where he served as its pitching coach in 2013.
Pete Falcone attended Lafayette High School, the same school Sandy Koufax and John Franco attended.
Falcone became quite familiar with the draft process, being selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 13th round of the 1972 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Lafayette HS, the Atlanta Braves in the 2nd round of the 1973 Draft-Secondary phase out of Kingsborough Community College (Brooklyn, NY) and the San Francisco Giants in the 1st round (4th) of the 1973 Draft-Secondary Phase, according to www.baseball-reference.com.
Falcone wound up recording a 70-90 MLB record with a 4.07 ERA in 10 years of MLB service time. He spent four seasons with the New York Mets.
John Candelaria attended LaSalle Academy in Manhattan, N.Y., before the Pittsburgh Pirates picked him in the 2nd round of the 1972 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Candelaria pitched for 19 MLB seasons and registered an admirable 177-122 record with 1,673 strikeouts for the Pittsburgh Pirates, California Angels, Mets, New York Yankees, Montreal Expos, Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, and Los Angeles Dodgers between 1975–1993.
John Cangelosi played the outfield and served as a pinch hitter in MLB for the Chicago White Sox, Pirates, Rangers, Mets, Astros, Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies.
Born in Brooklyn, Cangelosi graduated from Miami Springs High School in Miami Springs, Florida. He defied his five-foot-eight, 150-pound stature to have the White Sox choose him in the 4th round of the 1982 MLB January Draft-Regular Phase out of Miami-Dade College (Miami, FL).
Cangelosi wound up playing 13 seasons in the MLB, hitting .250 with 12 dingers, 134 RBI and 154 stolen bases.
Tommy Davis graduated from Boys & Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Davis, a left fielder, third baseman and designated hitter, played in 18 MLB campaigns, debuting with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1959. He played there until 1966.
Next, Davis spent a season with the Mets in 1967, lacing .302 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI. For his career, he totaled 2121 knocks, along with a .294 average, 153 homers and 1052 runs driven in.
Kevin Baez is another former student-athlete at Lafayette High School in Brooklyn. He attended Dominican College in Orangeburg, N.Y,. and the Mets drafted him in the seventh round of the 1988 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Baez played parts of three seasons with the Mets and has also served as the manager and third base coach of the Ducks of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
There, Baez captured championships as both a player and manager. At the helm, the 53-year-old won two consecutive titles in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
He is the current skipper of the Rockland Boulders of the independent Frontiere League.
— Jerry Del Priore