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Tony Conigliaro Hard-luck ballplayer Tony Conigliaro of the Boston Red Sox was featured on the cover of this issue of Sports Illustrated from July 1970. Conigliaro was the favorite to win the American League's Rookie of the Year award in 1964, but he broke his arm in August. In 1965, at age 20, he led the AL in home runs with 32. Two years later, on Auugst 18, 1967, Conigliaro was hit in the face with a fastball thrown by Jack Hamilton of the Angels. The pitch broke Conigliaro's cheekbone and damaged his left retina. (The effects are shown in the SI cover photo.) The injury was so devastating that Conigliaro missed the entire 1968 season. He had good seasons in both 1969 and 1970, but lingering eye problems from his 1967 injury caused him to retire in 1971. Conigliaro attempted a brief comeback in 1975 only to retire again. In 1982, at age 37, he suffered a severe heart attack. Conigliaro was virtually in a vegetive state until his death in 1990 at age 45.
Tags: Tony  Conigliaro 
Added: 23rd June 2008
Views: 1436
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Posted By: Lava1964
Umpire John McSherry Dies During Game On April 1, 1996, the Cincinnati Reds opened the Major League Baseball season by hosting the Montreal Expos. Seven pitches into the game, 51-year-old umpire John McSherry staggered away from home plate on unsteady legs and collapsed face-first to the ground. He likely died immediately of a massive heart attack, but he was officially pronounced dead an hour later. Another umpire, Tom Hallion, accompanied McSherry to a Cincinnati hospital. The remaining two umpires, after consulting with the Reds and Expos, decided to postpone the game. The decision did not sit well with outspoken Reds' owner Marge Schott who was unhappy about having to issue rainchecks to the 50,000 spectators. (She later sent flowers to McSherry's funeral, but reports claimed they were second-hand flowers she herself had received on Opening Day from a local TV station.) McSherry, who tipped the scales at over 300 pounds, was a stereotypical out-of-shape MLB umpire. Beginning in 1997, MLB insisted on tough new physical fitness standards for its arbiters.
Tags: death  John  McSherry  baseball  umpire 
Added: 26th June 2008
Views: 25026
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Posted By: Lava1964
Ebbets Field Perhaps the most nostalgic ballpark of them all was Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, home of the National League's Dodgers for 45 seasons. Built in 1913, it was one of the era's new concrete and steel stadiums. It held 32,000 of baseball's most loyal and colorful supporters. Brooklyn fans witnessed some of the worst baseball ever played in the National League--and some of the very best. Despite consistently strong fan support since 1890, after the 1957 season owner Walter O'Malley ripped the heart out of the borough by uprooting the Dodgers and moving the club 3,000 miles away to Los Angeles. Most Brooklynites would have preferred seeing the Brooklyn Bridge dismantled rather than lose their beloved baseball club.
Tags: Ebbets  Field 
Added: 28th June 2008
Views: 1281
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Posted By: Lava1964
Forbes Field Picturesque Forbes Field was the home ballpark of the National League's Pittsburgh Pirates from 1909 to 1970. It was one of the first modern type ballparks made wholly of steel and concrete. It also was the first to have telephones in the press box and elevators. The first player to smack a home run over the double-decked right field grandstand was Babe Ruth in 1935. Undoubtedly the most famous home run in Forbes Field's history was socked by Bill Mazeroski to win the 1960 World Series. Every October 13, Pirate fans gather at the former site of Forbes Field (which has been absorbed by the University of Pittsburgh) to listen to the broadcast of that famous game on its anniversary. One strange fact about Forbes Field: Despite it being considered a pitcher's ballpark, a no-hitter was never thrown there.
Tags: Forbes  Field  Pittburgh  Pirates  baseball 
Added: 28th June 2008
Views: 1688
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Posted By: Lava1964
All-Canadian World Series Threat Oh, no! It's the summer of 1983 and Sports Illustrated presents this horrible scenario: The Montreal Expos might win the National League pennant and the Toronto Blue Jays are threatening to win the American League flag. Brace yourselves. This would mean (gasp!) an all-Canadian World Series! We can't have that! (Luckily for xenophobic American baseball fans, neither the Expos or the Jays won the pennant that year. Whew! That's a relief!)
Tags: baseball  Canadian  teams 
Added: 21st July 2008
Views: 1308
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Posted By: Lava1964
Ron Luciano Remember flamboyant American League baseball umpire Ron Luciano? During the 1970s he was the sport's most colorful arbiter. To relieve the tedium during dull games, Luciano would call runners out by pumping his fist numerous times. He would chat and joke with players, pat them on the back when they did well, and engage in bits of mischief. He had a long-running feud with Baltimore Orioles' manager Earl Weaver, whom he once ejected from both ends of a doubleheader. When Luciano quit umpiring to become a baseball broadcaster for NBC in 1980, Weaver said, 'I hope he takes this job more seriously than he took his last one.' Luciano authored five books of baseball anecdotes that were well received. So it came as a shock to the baseball community when the good-natured and well-liked Luciano inexplicably took hs own life in January 1995 at his home in Endicott, NY. He was 57. He left a suicide note containing detailed funeral instructions, but gave no reason for why he had decided to kill himself.
Tags: Ron  Luciano 
Added: 21st July 2008
Views: 2742
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Posted By: Lava1964
Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig The scariest sight ever to face a big league pitcher: Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, pictured here in a photo I'd date around 1931. In 1927 Babe Ruth hit a record 60 homers to lead the American League. Gehrig was second with 47. In third place was another Yankee, Tony Lazzeri, with a mere 18.
Tags: Babe  Ruth  Lou  Gehrig 
Added: 5th August 2008
Views: 1042
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Posted By: Lava1964
Alex Rodriguez Purse Photo During the sixth game of the 2004 American League Championship Series, Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees slapped the ball out of the glove of Boston Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo who was appplying a tag. (Rodriguez was properly called out.) Some enterprising Red Sox fan doctored the photo of the 'girlie' play to show A-Rod carrying a purse. The comical photo was widely circulated on the Internet.
Tags: baseball  photo  Alex  Rodriguez  purse 
Added: 4th September 2008
Views: 18055
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Posted By: Lava1964
Double Life of Arthur Irwin Toronto's Arthur Irwin was the man who invented the baseball gove. In 1884, while playing with the National League's Providence Grays, Irwin broke two fingers on his catching hand. In order to keep playing, he wore a carriage driver's glove filled with cotton. At first Irwin was derided as a sissy, but within a decade almost all major leaguers were wearing gloves in the field. However, Irwin is most famous for the double life he led as a bigamist--one that only became known after he died. On July 16, 1921, Irwin was aboard a New York to Bston ship, the Calvin Murphy. He told a fellow passenger he was going home to Boston to die. The next morning, Irwin was nowhere to be found. It was surmised that he either jumped or fell overboard. Irwin left behind a grieving wife and family in Boston--and a grieving wife and family in New York City! Neither family had any inkling of the other's existence. Irwin's body was never found, leading to speculation that he had faked his death. For years there were rumors he was living in rural Georgia under an assumed name. Irwin's sister answered the accusations by saying, 'With Arthur, you never know.'
Tags: Arthur  Irwin  bigamist  disappearance 
Added: 16th August 2008
Views: 2105
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Posted By: Lava1964
Ray Chapman Tragedy On August 16, 1920, Ray Chapman, the Cleveland Indians second baseman, became the only fatality in the history of major league baseball. Chapman died as a result of being hit in the head by a pitch thrown by New York Yankees pitcher Carl Mays. Chapman batted in an exaggerated crouch, so Mays' pitch was just barely out of the strike zone. Chapman died of a severe skull fracture about 12 hours after the mishap. Mays voluntarily turned himself into police and was quickly exonerated of all blame. Chapman's death prompted major league baseball to institute a policy that required soiled or damaged balls to be replaced by spotless white ones so batters could better see pitches. The days of the 'dead ball' and overwhelmingly dominant pitchers were over.
Tags: Ray  Chapman 
Added: 16th August 2008
Views: 1613
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Posted By: Lava1964

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