Tony Conigliaro was born on Sunday, January 7, 1945, in Revere, Massachusetts. Conigliaro was 19 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 16, 1964, with the Boston Red Sox. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Tony Conigliaro baseball stats page.
"The Tony Conigliaro Award is given each year to the MLB player who overcomes an obstacle and adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination, and courage that were trademarks of Tony Conigliaro. Conigliaro was hit in the face by a pitch in 1967. His injuries were so severe that he did not return to the playing field until 1969, homering on Opening Day . Despite his dramatic return, Conigliaro continued to be plagued with vision problems and was forced to retire at age 30." - Author Bill Nowlin in Overcoming Adversity: Baseball's Tony Conigliaro Award (The SABR Digital Library, 01/05/2017, Cover)
Tony Conigliaro Autograph on a 1971 Topps Baseball Card (#105 | Checklist )
Tony Conigliaro Pitching Stats
|-||-||Did Not Pitch||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
Tony Conigliaro Hitting Stats
Tony Conigliaro Fielding Stats
|1964 Red Sox||CF||24||23||594||47||2.0||46||42||4||1||0||n/a||n/a||n/a||.979||2.09|
|1964 Red Sox||LF||83||82||2,070||143||1.7||139||136||3||4||0||n/a||n/a||n/a||.972||1.81|
|1964 Red Sox||RF||1||1||9||1||1.0||1||1||0||0||0||n/a||n/a||n/a||1.000||3.00|
|1965 Red Sox||CF||2||2||48||7||3.5||5||4||1||2||0||n/a||n/a||n/a||.714||2.81|
|1965 Red Sox||RF||135||135||3,603||278||2.1||273||263||10||5||1||n/a||n/a||n/a||.982||2.05|
|1966 Red Sox||RF||146||145||3,924||261||1.8||254||246||8||7||0||n/a||n/a||n/a||.973||1.75|
|1967 Red Sox||RF||95||95||2,388||182||1.9||179||174||5||3||1||n/a||n/a||n/a||.984||2.02|
|1969 Red Sox||LF||1||1||27||2||2.0||2||2||0||0||0||n/a||n/a||n/a||1.000||2.00|
|1969 Red Sox||RF||136||134||3,492||211||1.6||207||204||3||4||2||n/a||n/a||n/a||.981||1.60|
|1970 Red Sox||RF||146||146||3,786||261||1.8||255||248||7||6||1||n/a||n/a||n/a||.977||1.82|
Tony Conigliaro Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
|1964 Red Sox||2||4||.333||5||0||n/a||16.8||5.2||7.8||-||-||-|
|1965 Red Sox||4||2||.667||1||0||n/a||16.3||4.5||6.4||-||-||-|
|1966 Red Sox||0||2||.000||4||0||n/a||19.9||5.0||6.0||-||-||-|
|1967 Red Sox||4||6||.400||0||0||n/a||17.5||6.0||5.2||-||-||-|
|1969 Red Sox||2||4||.333||6||0||n/a||25.3||4.6||6.2||-||-||-|
|1970 Red Sox||4||2||.667||0||0||n/a||15.6||6.0||4.8||-||-||-|
|1975 Red Sox||1||0||1.000||6||0||15||28.5||6.3||6.3||-||-||-|
Tony Conigliaro Miscellaneous Items of Interest
Tony Conigliaro went 1-for-5 in his Major League debut , at Yankee Stadium , but one day later, on April 17, 1964 , he became an all-time fan favorite with the Boston Red Sox when he crushed the first pitch thrown to him that day, in his first at-bat, in Fenway Park .
The 19-year-old phenom continued to hit towering home runs, twenty-four in total during his rookie season, the most homers ever hit in Major League history by a teenager - a record that still stands through today!
Sophomore slump? Absolutely not, in fact, Tony C hit an American League leading thirty-two homers, the youngest home run champion in league history!
During his third season, an All-Star selection (finally) was added to his record setting resume, as well as his one-hundredth career home run. He was exactly 22-years and 197 days old, the second youngest player in Major League history (youngest from the American League) to reach the 100-HR Club ( Full List ). Do you know who was first? [ Answer ]
Tony Conigliario | Sports Illustrated | June 22, 1970 | Baseball Almanac Collection
Then that happened. August 18, 1967 . The Boston Red Sox were playing the California Angels at Fenway Park . Tony C dug-in against righty Jack Hamilton . A high fastball hit Tony on the left side of his face, causing a linear fracture of his cheekbone, a dislocated jaw, and damage to his left retina. A storybook career ended, or did it? LIFE explained:
'Tony C' can see to hit
For "Tony C," who has always had a keen awareness of his own drama, the situation was ripe for grand gestures. One year aho he was legally blin in his left eye. His spectacularly precocious career seemed over. But last month, when he arrived at the Boston Red Sox spring training camp, his sight miraculously had returned and Tony Conigliaro was embarking at a comeback at the age of 24.
Conigliaro had been one of baseball's most exciting players. In 1965 , before he was old enough to vote, he led the American League in home runs and the fans loved him. He partied with beauty queens, safaried in Africa, and got fined $1,000 for arriving for a game so hung over he vomited into his own glove in right field. Then, in August 1967, a fast ball smashed his face. Last year, after a winter of slow improvement, his vision deteriorated in spring training until all depth perception was gone. A cyst, caused by the beaning, had broken his left eye, leaving a hole in the retina. There was no cure. "When the doctor said I was through, I cried a lot," he recalls. "I fell asleep and when I woke up up I hoped it was a dream. I felt so alone. I didn't know what to do."
He tried to start a new career as a singer. He had some talent, but his heart wasn't in it. Last fall, as he fitfully attempted to become a one-eyed pitcher in the Florida Instructional League, near-perfect vision suddenly returned. "It's inexplicable," says Dr. Charles Regan of the Retina Foundation. "The hole had healed. I don't know of any case like it."
So here he was back in Florida, savoring the implications of his reprieve, yet aware that he must prove he could really see a pitched baseball - and hit it well enough to reclaim his old job. To cheer him on girl friends flew in from New Orleans and Miami, and there were a score of fans from his hometown, Swampscott, Mass. - his father and mother, even his barber and shoemaker. In his wallet was a slip of paper from a Chinese fortune cookie: "This will be your best year. Make the most of it."
But the pressure on him was enormous. Every time he came to bat his teammates watched for a sign that he was really back, and the fans went out of their way to cheer for him. And then - in the second game of the spring - a loud voice pierced the cheers. "Don't get hit in the eye again, Tony!"
"I heard it," Conigliaro sizzled afterward. "And they better cut it out, because I don't know how much I can take before I explode."
Actually, he had already exploded, flattening a man in a one-punch bar fight several nights before. He isn't a heavy drinker and the fight had nothing to do with baseball. His emotions had just broken loose, emotions he had contained last year even when a heckler at his rock 'n' roll show yelled, "You're lucky you can sing 'cause you can't see."
Conigliaro wasn't getting many hits, but he was hitting the ball hard. Before the eye injury he had crowded the plate, five inches away. Pitchers threw at him to force him back and he suffered three broken bones in three seasons. Now he was standing more than a foot from the plate. "I'm not afraid of being hit," he said. "But I'm not particularly happy where I'm standing now."
One night Tony, worrying about it, couldn't sleep. By morning he had decided to move five inches nearer the plate. "I had to find out if I can hit right now." That day he lined a single and a double to left field and barely missed a home run. "That's as well as I've hit since 1967 ," he said in the clubhouse, pulling on a pair of virtually transparent knit slacks. "If you wear pants like these, you've got to hit."
As spring training neared an end, the base hits still weren't coming often enough. But Tony answered two of the questions. He could see the ball, and he could hit it - how well only the season would tell. For his father, Sal Conigliaro, who had offered the doctor his own eyes for transplants, this was enough. One night, at a party in Winter Haven, Tony sauntered over and stared suspiciously at his father's socks. "They're not yours," snapped Sal. "That SOB. He's got eyes like a hawk." Then the father whispered to himself, "Thank God."
Source: LIFE Magazine. April 4, 1969. David Wolf.
Tony Conigliaro Beaning | August 18, 2017 | MassLive
The author asked, "how well only the season will tell." Tony had a truly respectable return to the diamond, playing 136 games in right field (four errors), hitting 20 long balls, driving in 82 runs, ultimately earning him a Comeback Player of the Year Award . A year later, it seemed like he was literally back on track to the Hall of Fame, hitting a career high 36 home runs and 116 runs batted in; however, the eyesight issues returned. His performance in California (1971), and another attempt at a comeback with Boston (1975), were but a shell of his former self.
Bill James Nineteen-Year-Old All-Star Team
|First Base||Phil Cavarretta||1936|
|Second Base||Sibby Sisti||1940|
|Third Base||Buddy Lewis||1936|
|Left Field||Tony Conigliaro||1964|
|Center Field||Ken Griffey, Jr.||1989|
|Right Field||Mel Ott||1928|
|Starting Pitcher||Wally Bunker||1964|
|Starting Pitcher||Dwight Gooden||1984|
|Starting Pitcher||Bob Feller||1938|
|Starting Pitcher||Gary Nolan||1967|
|Starting Pitcher||Chief Bender||1903|
|Relief Pitcher||Billy McCool||1964|
Last-Modified: April 11, 2020 5:35 AM EST