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 Tony Conigliaro

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Tony Conigliaro

  • Original Name Anthony
  • Birth 7 Jan 1945 Revere, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Death 24 Feb 1990 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Burial Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Memorial ID 10341

Major League Baseball Player. For eight years he played the outfield with the Boston Red Sox (1964 to 1967, 1969 to 1970, 1975) and the California Angels (1971) of the American League. Born Anthony Richard Conigliaro, he was affectionately known to Boston Red Sox fans as "Tony C" and "Conig." After graduating from Saint Mary's High School in Lynn, Massachusetts where he excelled in baseball, he was signed by the Boston Red Sox at the age of 17. In 1963 he batted .363 with 24 home runs in the New York - Penn League and was subsequently called up to the majors. During his 1964 rookie season, he batted .290 with 24 home runs and 52 RBI in 111 games, but broke his arm and his toes in August. The following season he led the American League in home runs (32), becoming the youngest home run champion in League history. In 1967 he was selected for the All-Star Game and in that season, at age 22, he not only reached a career total of 100 home runs but he also reached that milestone in the shortest timeframe for an American League player. On August 18, 1967, the Red Sox were playing the California Angels at Fenway Park when he was hit by a pitch on his left cheekbone by Jack Hamilton, and was carried off the field on a stretcher. He sustained a linear fracture of the left cheekbone and a dislocated jaw with severe damage to his left retina. The batting helmet he was wearing did not have the protective ear-flap that has since become standard. In 1969 he made a remarkable return, hitting 20 home runs with 82 runs batted in during 141 games, earning Comeback Player of the Year honors. The following year he reached career-high numbers in HRs (36) and runs batted in (116). That season he and his brother Billy formed two-thirds of the Red Sox outfield. After a stint with the California Angels in 1971, he returned to the Red Sox briefly in 1975 as a designated hitter, but was forced to retire because his eyesight had been permanently damaged from his injury in 1967. During his Major League Baseball career, he had a batting average of .264 with 166 home runs and 516 runs batted in. He holds the Major League Baseball record for most home runs (24) hit by a teenage player and is the second-youngest player to hit his 100th homer (after Mel Ott in 1931), and the youngest American League player to do so. After his retirement, he joined KGO-TV Channel 7 in San Francisco, California as a sports anchor. On January 3, 1982, he was in Boston to interview for a broadcasting position, and suffered a heart attack while being driven to the airport by his brother Billy. Shortly thereafter, he suffered a stroke and lapsed into a coma. He remained in basically a vegetative state until his death more than eight years later at the age of 45. His biography, "Seeing it Through" was published in 1970. The Tony Conigliaro Award, established in 1990 by the Boston Red Sox, is given annually to the Major League Baseball player who best overcomes an obstacle and continues to play well through the adversity.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 8 Jul 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10341
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Tony Conigliaro (7 Jan 1945–24 Feb 1990), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10341, citing Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum, Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .