1975 Tony Conigliaro Boston Red Sox Game Issued Bat
<p>Tony Conigliaro was born in Revere, Massachusetts in 1945, and he made the Red Sox as a 19-year-old. "Tony C" was a big part of the Red Sox "Impossible Dream" season of 1967 when Boston won the American <span style="font-size: 10pt;">League pennant. That season, Conigliaro hit 20 homers in 95 games and was an All-Star, but on August 19th, he was playing at home in Fenway Park against the California Angels, and he was hit in the face with a pitch from Jack Hamilton. Conigliaro suffered serious injuries, including severe damage to his left retina. He made a comeback in 1969 with Boston, and he hit 20 home runs with 82 RBIs. He hit his season-best homer total for the Red Sox (36) in 1970, and then spent part of 1971 with the California Angels, played briefly and ineffectively, and retired. He made </span><span style="font-size: 13px;">another</span><span style="font-size: 10pt;"> comeback in 1975, when this bat was game issued, but Conigliaro's retina injury was </span><span style="font-size: 13px;">deteriorating, and in 57 at bats he hit only two home runs and batted .123, so he then retired for good. </span><span style="font-size: 10pt;">The bat is 34" long, and it weighs 33 ounces. The Louisville Slugger 125 Hillerich and Bradsby bat shows no use, but it does have "25," his number, written on the knob in marker. Imprinted on the barrel is "Genuine Tony Conigliaro (in facsimile autograph form) Louisville Slugger." Conigliaro passed away in 1990, and since then, the Red Sox annually present the Tony Conigliaro Award to the MLB player who "best overcomes an obstacle and adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage that were trademarks of Conigliaro." Tony C was a huge fan favorite, especially throughout Red Sox Nation, and this bat symbolizes the career of a player whose talent was irrevocably damaged from one incident, and yet his career was extended for years through Tony Conigliaro's' "never say quit" desire.</span></p>
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