Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Jack Hamilton, Pitcher Who Hit Tony C, Dies At Age 79

(Getty Images)
For those of us old enough to remember what happened on August 18, 1967, it's a bitter memory. On that Summer night, our hometown hero, Tony Conigliaro was felled by a high fastball. The 22-year-old Red Sox phenom from the North Shore of Boston, went down in a heap—his cheekbone shattered, jaw dislocated and eye damaged. His almost-certain Hall of Fame career (he was the youngest player ever to 100 HRs) was derailed that night at Fenway Park. The Angels pitcher who hit him was Jack Hamilton—a journeyman hurler who never lived down the incident. Hamilton died last Thursday at the age of 79. Shortly after Conigliaro died in 1990, Hamilton stated, "I know in my heart I wasn’t trying to hit him. I never hit a guy that hard in my life. He went right down." The images of Tony C still haunt us—and so does the legacy that could have been.