Holway: Remembering Tony C.

From SABR member and Henry Chadwick Award winner John Holway at Our Game on October 2, 2012:

Bryce Harper has now hit 22 homers as a 19-year-old. That puts him #2, behind Tony Conigliaro.

Never heard of Tony-C? He was one of the great tragic men of American baseball. Almost a half century ago, 1964, he slugged 24 home runs in 100 fewer at bats than Bryce.

Fans today don’t know Tony. But us old geezers remember a fresh-faced young guy with a smile who was struck down much too soon.

A Massachusetts boy, Tony signed with the Red Sox when he was 17 and came up to the big time when he was 19. He conked 24 over the Monster in only 404 at bats–Harper has 530 at the moment. That would equal about 32 for an equivalent number of at bats. Conigliaro also batted .290. Harper is struggling to get over .270.

Let’s not even talk about how much more money Bryce is being paid. Tony made a little extra change singing in Boston nightclubs; his most popular hit was “Little Red Scooter,” which he performed on TV too.

Then in August Tony broke his arm and his toes, and that was all for him that year.

But he came roaring back in ’65 with his 32 shots to lead the league, the youngest man ever to do it. Will Harper equal that?

Read the full article here: http://ourgame.mlblogs.com/2012/10/02/remembering-tony-c/

Originally published: October 2, 2012. Last Updated: October 2, 2012.