Tony C, no other MLB athlete has ever reached 100 career home runs as quickly as he did. However, Conigliaro's career was tragically cut short.
On August 18, 1967, The Red Sox were playing the Angels at Fenway Park. Tony Conigliaro was at the plate, Jack Hamilton on the mound. Hamilton's delivery resulted in a fastball connecting with Conigliaro's left eye and cheek. Tony C went down. He was carried off the field on a stretcher.
Conigliaro suffered a dislocated jaw, broken cheek bone, and left orbital and retinal damage. After that, Tony Conigliaro was never the same. He did make a return two years later, but he was not the player he was prior to the injury. In fact, Conigliaro's life was never the same. He did go on to do other things after his retirement in 1975, but many believe had that injury never happened, Conigliaro could've played for many more years.
It is important that all sports fans, specifically Red Sox fans, understand what could've been. This was a guy that had the world ahead of him, that was taken from him. It can happen to anyone. Anyone at any time.
Let's get back to Jack Hamilton. Now, he is not the important person or focal point in this story. However, like Conigliaro, Hamilton's career and life were never the same either. Hamilton realized what he did (which was not done on purpose) and felt awful about it. He was one of Conigliaro's frequent visitors during his time in the hospital.
So this date, August 18th, should not be forgotten. It should be remembered in honor for Tony Conigliaro. People think nothing bad ever happens to these famous athletes, well like I said it can happen to anyone at anytime.
Rest easy Tony C, you won't be forgotten.