Web Analytics and Web Statistics by NextSTAT The Boston Sports Nut: August 18, 1967 The Day Tony C got beaned

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

August 18, 1967 The Day Tony C got beaned

Yesterday went by with nobody mentioning that this date was the 41st anniversary of one of the greatest tragedies in Red Sox and baseball history. The beginning of the end of what should have been a promising career. I was in Holyoke, MA listening to the game on the radio when it happened.

Tony Conigliaro hit .290 with 24 home runs in 1964, but broke his arm in August; Tony Oliva won the AL Rookie of the Year award. When the 20-year-old Conigliaro hit 32 HR in 1965, he became the youngest home run leader in AL history. The hometown hero was enjoying another standout year in 1967 when, on August 18, he was struck by a Jack Hamilton fastball that broke his cheekbone and so damaged his eyesight that he missed the entire 1968 season. He returned in 1969 to win Comeback of the Year honors, and in 1970 hit 36 HR. But his vision was still impaired, and he left the majors in July 1971, returning for a short comeback try in 1975. Further tragedy befell Conigliaro at age 37, when he suffered a heart attack (while riding in a car with brother Billy) that left him severely incapacitated.

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