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Tony Conigliaro

  • Sport: Baseball
  • Decade Inducted: 80s

The youngest home-run leader in the history of the American League in 1965.

Conigliaro made his major league debut in 1964 with the Boston Red Sox. He hit .290 with 24 home runs his first year and walked away with Rookie of the Year honors. The 20-year old Conigliaro hit 32 home runs in 1965, and later became the youngest player in American League history to hit 100 home runs.

The hometown hero was enjoying another standout year in 1967 when, on August 18, he was struck by a Jack Hamilton fastball that broke his cheekbone and damaged his eyesight so badly that he missed the entire 1968 season.

He returned in 1969 to win Comeback of the Year honors, and in 1970 hit 36 home runs. But his vision was still impaired, and he left the majors in July 1971, returning for a short comeback try in 1975. Further tragedy befell Conigliaro at age 37, when he suffered a heart attack that left him severely incapacitated.

He was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1983, and died on February 24, 1990.