"Then.........One August night, the kid in right, lies sprawling in the dirt" 52 years later, it still hurts.

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
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Yesterday August 18th of course was the 52nd anniversary of the Jack Hamilton beaning of Tony C, my favorite all time player. Many of us who were alive(I had just turned ten) know where they were when it happened. It still hurts to this day. It was amazing that they won the pennant without him. He was batting .287, 20 HR's and 67 RBI's at the time. I don't think he would have hit 100 RBI's but 85- 90 plus he could have had. I don't think they would have beaten the Cardinals had he he not been beaned. Gibson and Brock were too much, but I guess we'll never know. (JIm Rice getting hurt right before playoffs in 75 may have made a difference against Reds.) It was great that Tony came back in 69 and 70. He actually had his best year in 1970 hitting 36 HR's 116 RBI"s(Led the team) and hit .266. But then the trade for Ken Bleeping Tatum and he had lost it and retired with the Angels in 71. He did try making a comeback of course in 75 but it turned out unsuccessful. I guess the question will always be....What if??? I don't know if he would have been a Hall Of Famer but I believe he would have been a borderliner like Dewey but even better offensive stats. Were any of you at the game??? I think Jack Lamabe was and I know one younger friend who was there. I believe there was a smoke bomb that went off and it delayed his at bat if I'm not mistaken. Wow 52 years. Time flies. RIP Tony C.
 

Harry Hooper

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Ray Fitzgerald (via Chad Finn) confirms the smoke bomb delay

The whole Tony C journey was one with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

Fitzgerald's book Touching All Bases includes a memorable column he wrote when Tony C was playing for the Angels and some of his teammates started calling him soft. Ray brought out his rarely used blowtorch for the Angels teammates in that one.
 

E5 Yaz

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Fitzgerald's book Touching All Bases includes a memorable column he wrote when Tony C was playing for the Angels and some of his teammates started calling him soft. Ray brought out his rarely used blowtorch for the Angels teammates in that one.
Can't recommend that collection enough.Because he passed before the period when the Boston media became nationally known, he really was the voice of the fan base and a deceptively styled writer.
 

Don Buddin's GS

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I was there on a double date with my older sister and her soon-to-be husband but got there late as neither of them were big baseball fans. We arrived right after Tony C got beaned. I recall the smokebomb delay. It was the strangest atmosphere I have ever experienced at Fenway.
 

Dick Drago

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Anyone remember the recording narrated by Ned Martin that spliced together highlights from the 1975 season? I listened to it over and over again, and can still hear the call prefaced by "home run by Tony Conigliaro, his last home-run in Fenway Park."
Then the playback of the call:

" the roar you're going to hear is for Tony Conigliaro, in his return to Fenway Park. AND...he hits one deeeppp to left field.....'

Always gave me chills.
 

geoflin

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I was there, sitting in the bleachers with a clear view of the pitch. The sound of the ball hitting him was so loud it was like a gunshot. When he went down I thought he was dead. Probably the worst night I've ever spent at Fenway.
 

strek1

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I was there, sitting in the bleachers with a clear view of the pitch. The sound of the ball hitting him was so loud it was like a gunshot. When he went down I thought he was dead. Probably the worst night I've ever spent at Fenway.
That's incredible. You must remember that like it was yesterday.
 

geoflin

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That's incredible. You must remember that like it was yesterday.
I am now friends with a pitcher from the 1967 Red Sox (I didn't know him at the time) who was in the bullpen. I've talked with him at length about that night and his experience, and according to him he and the other pitchers in the bullpen had experiences similar to mine.
 

Humphrey

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Always wondered about that smoke bomb. Was the visibility in the park still not up to speed when Hamilton threw the pitch? Did Hamilton and/or Tony lose concentration because of the delay? No indication the pitch was on purpose, although Hamilton had a bit of a rep as a head hunter.

Too bad it didn't happen a few years later when the flap on the helmet was in use, pretty sure it would have lessened the injury to a great degree.

And someone mentioned Ken Tatum- ironically he was damaged goods when the Sox traded for him as he got gun shy after beaning someone.
 

GeorgeThomas

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Apr 4, 2007
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I thought the flap was the result of Tony C's beaning. After reading "Tony C" I'm fairly certain it wasn't intentional by Hamilton. 8 year old me still grieves and remembers the horror of looking at the pictures.
 

geoflin

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I don't think visibility was an issue. Hamilton was know as a spitball pitcher and there has always been some disagreement about whether this was one. The pitch did seem to get away from him. It started up and in and continued to move further inside, right at Tony's head. He didn't react and really didn't have much of a chance of getting out of the way.
 
Jul 5, 2018
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Absolutely heartbreaking.

Not just what could have been in 1967, or even what could have been for his career.
But what could have been for a hometown boy, and his life.

As bad as the beaning was, the damage from his heart attack was infinitely worse. The poor guy didn't get a fair shake in life.
 

Spacemans Bong

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As bad as the beaning was, the damage from his heart attack was infinitely worse. The poor guy didn't get a fair shake in life.
Just after he was told he was going to be the next colour man for the Red Sox, too. His heart attack was on his way to the airport to return back to the Bay Area, where he’d worked as a sportscaster, to prepare for the move.
 
Jul 5, 2018
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Here's a section from Rico Petrocelli's book which includes some nice things about Tony C's personality and describes that terrible night:

 

biollante

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I remember the Sports Illustrated cover not much else. Seemed like one of the saddest baseball stories. Imagine being let go because someone picked up Denny Doyle ?