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tony conigliaro, 1965 topps #55, red sox

Player: Conigliaro, Tony

Card: 1965 Topps #55

Position: OF

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playerbio

Don’t change that solid stance of yours, no matter what you’re told.” - Ted Williams, to Tony C.

Anthony Richard "Tony C" Conigliaro was an outfielder and right-handed batter who played for the Boston Red Sox (1964–67, 1969–1970, 1975) and California Angels (1971). A hometown hero, Tony was born in Revere, Massachusetts.

Tony debuted in the big leagues at just 19, a year after batting .363 with 24 home runs in the New York-Penn League. He crafted a .290/.354/.530 line in 111 games, belting 24 home runs and scoring 69 times in 1964. He took Joe Horlen of the Chicago White Sox deep in his first Fenway Park at-bat and was the only teenager to hit 20 home runs in a season until two Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper and Juan Soto, joined him in the 2010s. A star was born.

In 1965, he followed with a .269/.338/.512 line, leading the American League with 32 home runs while scoring and driving in 82 runs. After a 28-home run season in 1966, Tony C made his first All-Star appearance in 1967, reaching 100 home runs younger than any man in AL history (22 years, 197 days).

During the Red Sox "Impossible Dream" season of 1967, the Red Sox were playing the California Angels at Fenway Park. Tony, batting against Jack Hamilton, was hit by a pitch on his left cheekbone 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 (partly due to this serious incident)

A year and a half later, Tony made a remarkable return, hitting 20 homers with 82 RBI in 141 games, earning Comeback Player of the Year honors. In 1970, he reached career-high numbers in HRs (36) and RBI (116). That season he and his brother Billy formed two-thirds of the Red Sox outfield. After a stint with the 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 and was worsening.

Tony's meteoric rise, and sudden career derailment are detailed in this short documentary: The Tony Conigliaro Story.

(excerpted from SABR, BR Bullpen, and Wikipedia)

morecards

1967 Topps #280
1968 Topps #140
1969 Topps #330
1970 Topps #340
1971 Topps #105
2009 Italian American Baseball Heroes #30

tourstops


Tony is part of the Topps Card Tour – 1965 Topps – Go to the Next Stop


Tony C is also part of the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame Tour – Go to the Next Stop


Tony C is part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop


Tony is also part of the Boston Red Sox Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop


View all Tony’s baseball cards at TCDB


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