John W. Nelson
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 6", Weight 145 lb.
- Debut June 11, 1872
- Final Game August 25, 1890
- Born March 14, 1849 in Portland, ME USA
- Died September 4, 1910 in Brooklyn, NY USA
Candy Nelson had a long major league career, playing in the National Association from 1872 to 1875, in the National League from 1878, 1879 1889 and 1881, and one game in 1887, and in the American Association from 1883 to 1887 and in 1890. Starting in 1883, he was one of the three oldest players in his league. At age 41, his .251 batting average was still much higher than the team's .221 average.
Nelson played all the infield positions, including a game at catcher, and is known to have played right field and center field as well. Primarily he was a shortstop, appearing at that position in 560 of his 833 major league games. From 1883 to 1886, he was the regular shortstop for the New York Metropolitans in AA; he had been its shortstop when it was an independent team in 1880 and 1882. His stint included playing in the first World Series in 1884. His keystone partner during those years was second baseman Dasher Troy.
His Sporting Life obituary in 1910 called him "Johnnie" Nelson, and said he had started in baseball with the Eckfords at age 16. He played about 30 years, according to the article, for minor league clubs, and also managed. He also umpired one National Association game in 1872. He died of heart failure.
- 3-time League Bases on Balls Leader (1874/NA, 1884/AA & 1885/AA)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1884)