Forty years ago today, August 18,1967 in the midst of the Impossible Dream season of 1967, Tony C's baseball career and life were changed forever when he was beaned by a Jack Hamilton fastball, shattering his cheek, orbit and keeping him out of baseball for nearly two years.
The youngest homerun champ ever, and the youngest American Leaguer to hit 100 homeruns, Tony C. from nearby Revere was playing for the Red Sox at age 19 in 1964. While he'd make a comeback and hit another 64 home runs while playing for the Angels and eventually the Red Sox, his career was never the same and he retired after playing for the Red Sox in 1975, another pennant winning year.
Later on while returning from an interview to be a baseball announcer in January 1982,he suffered a near-fatal heart attack that rendered him in a near comatose state for several years before he died on February 24,1990 at the age of 45.
The Red Sox and later on Major League Baseball instituted the Tony Conigliaro Award in 1990 for those players who best overcomes an obstacle and adversity.
For those of us who grew up with the Red Sox and that memorable 1967 season, here's to the memory of Tony C.