I have often wondered why our Lord has given me so many blessings, and although I will never come to a conclusion as to why, I am and will be forever grateful for my years at La Salle Academy.

While you may know me best as “The Candy Man” from Major League Baseball, I started my career as a student-athlete at La Salle in the late ’60s. I played baseball and basketball for the Cardinals and I was always proud to wear the uniform.

I loved going to the school on 2nd Street and 2nd Avenue; I would take the F train from Brooklyn right in the middle of rush hour… I thought that was so cool! I am grateful for all the friends who meant so much to me, and the Brothers and lay faculty who made young men out of us. I still have those connections and fond memories today.

If it weren’t for La Salle’s Athletics program, I wouldn’t have had made it to the big leagues. After La Salle, I played professional baseball for 18 years with eight different teams. Throughout my career, I never forgot where I came from. When you walked in the door of the school, you saw the sign that read, “Remember… You Are La Salle.” That saying always stayed in my heart.

Will you participate in #GivingTuesday by making a gift to La Salle Academy’s Athletics Program today? Help my alma mater reach their goal of $5,000 by texting LSAGIVE to 71777 from your cell phone, or by clicking here to make your gift online. If you are unable to access the #GivingTuesday platform, please make your gift through La Salle’s website.

Thank you,

John Candelaria ’72