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Baseball Player

Tony Conigliaro was a hometown Boston boy who made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut with the Red Sox in 1964 at the age of 19. When Conigliaro got up to the plate for the very first time in Fenway Park, he blasted the first pitch he saw for a home run. During that rookie season, “Tony C” hit 24 dingers, setting a record for the most home runs by a teenager. Conigliaro’s sophomore year was more of the

Dangers: Players are subject to falls,

collisions, errant pitches, torn ligaments, strained muscles, and other injuries. Did You Know? Ty Cobb used to sharpen his baseball spikes so he could injure

an opposing player when sliding into a base.

same. He hit 32 home runs, becoming the youngest player to win baseball’s home-run crown. By the time he was

22, he’d become the youngest American League player to reach 100 homers. His prowess on the ballfield made Conigliaro the most popular athlete in Boston. Not only was he a baseball player, but he was a singer who recorded songs as well. He was also the city’s most eligible bachelor. Then came the pitch. Jack Hamilton had played for many teams in his career, and on the night of August 8, 1967, he was on the mound for the California Angels. It was the fourth inning, and Conigliaro was at bat. Conigliaro crowded the plate, as he always did. Hamilton, known for his wild pitches and spitballs, fired a fastball. Conigliaro wouldn’t back off. The ball struck Conigliaro in the face. Fans in the stands and players in the dugout could hear the crunch of the ball meeting Conigliaro’s skull. It was a sickening sound. Three of the Red Sox’s largest players rushed out to the field and dragged Conigliaro away. “It hurts like hell,” Conigliaro said after regaining consciousness. “I thought I was going to die.”

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