July 26, 2021

ZiPS Time Warp: Tony Conigliaro (FanGraphs)

The 1960s didn’t created many new Red Sox fans. Carl Yastrzemski debuted in 1961 and ascended to superstar status two years later, but outside of Yaz’s origin story, the franchise didn’t have much going for it. Starting with Ted Williams‘ penultimate season in 1959, Boston finished below .500 in eight consecutive campaigns, being spared last place thanks only to the piles of sadness that were the Athletics and the brand-new Senators in those years. As the Red Sox started assembling the early cast of a team that would, starting in 1967, finish with a winning record for 16 straight seasons, few stars shone as brightly as Tony Conigliaro. Until, that is, one errant Jack Hamilton fastball dimmed that star.

It took Yastrzemski a few years to really get going, but as a hitter, Conigliaro arrived in the majors nearly fully formed, much in the manner of Bryce Harper. Conigliaro’s signing was back in the pre-draft days, when amateurs had more of an ability to determine their franchise, and 14 teams pursued him before he signed with Boston. Assigned to the Wellsville Red Sox of the New York-Penn League in 1963, Conigliaro led the circuit in batting average, slugged .730…

Read “ZiPS Time Warp: Tony Conigliaro” at FanGraphs