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Red Sox to unveil Tony Conigliaro display at Fenway Park tomorrow

BOSTON -- The Red Sox will unveil a new display tomorrow that pays tribute to former Red Sox outfielder Tony Conigliaro, featuring memorabilia from his baseball career. The display is being unveiled exactly 50 years after Conigliaro suffered a life-altering injury in 1967, when he was struck in the left eye and cheekbone by a pitch thrown by Jack Hamilton of the California Angels.

Conigliaro's younger brothers Billy - a former Major League Baseball player for the Red Sox, Brewers, and Athletics - and Richie will be present at the unveiling alongside Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy.

BOSTON -- The Red Sox will unveil a new display tomorrow that pays tribute to former Red Sox outfielder Tony Conigliaro, featuring memorabilia from his baseball career. The display is being unveiled exactly 50 years after Conigliaro suffered a life-altering injury in 1967, when he was struck in the left eye and cheekbone by a pitch thrown by Jack Hamilton of the California Angels.

Conigliaro's younger brothers Billy - a former Major League Baseball player for the Red Sox, Brewers, and Athletics - and Richie will be present at the unveiling alongside Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy.

The glass display stands 9 feet wide by 9 feet tall and is located in the Gate C area of the Big Concourse. It will showcase an assortment of replica items including Conigliaro's helmet, Red Sox jersey, and American League Championship ring, all from 1967, as well as photos and other memorabilia.

Conigliaro was one of the most charismatic players ever to wear a Red Sox uniform. He was a home run prodigy with local roots and a seemingly unlimited future until he was struck in the face by a fastball in 1967, leaving him with permanently impaired vision at the age of 22.

Conigliaro was born in East Boston on January 7, 1945, grew up in Revere, attended St. Mary's High School in Lynn, and ultimately lived on the same street in Swampscott as his first Red Sox manager, Johnny Pesky. He made his major league debut in 1964 at age 19, and on April 17, in his first game in Fenway Park, he hit the first pitch to him for a home run, the ball clearing the 23-foot screen atop the famed 37-foot Green Monster.

Conigliaro's 24 home runs in his first season were the most ever by a teenager, and the next season, 1965, he became the youngest-ever home run champion when he hit 32 home runs at age 20. Conigliaro, known as Tony C., on July 23, 1967 became the youngest player in American League history to reach the 100 home run threshold.

After his injury in August of 1967, Conigliaro missed the rest of the season and all of 1968 before returning in 1969 and winning the American League's Comeback Player of the Year Award. He had his best season in 1970, hitting 36 home runs and driving in 116 runs, but in October of that season was traded to the California Angels.

Plagued by a series of setbacks in 1971, Conigliaro announced his retirement in July, saying he had never fully recovered from his eye issues. He mounted one last comeback attempt with the Red Sox in 1975 and was the team's Opening Day designated hitter, singling in his first at-bat, but ultimately retired, this time for good, in August.

In 1982, after what was reported to be a successful audition for a broadcasting job with the Red Sox, Conigliaro suffered a heart attack which caused irreversible brain damage. He was 45 when he died of kidney failure on February 24, 1990 in Salem Hospital.

Boston Red Sox