Billy Conigliaro

William Michael Conigliaro (born August 15, 1947 in Revere, Massachusetts) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder who played in the American League for the Boston Red Sox (1969–1971), Milwaukee Brewers (1972) and Oakland Athletics (1973). He is the younger brother of Tony Conigliaro; Billy and Tony were Red Sox teammates in 1969 and 1970.

Billy Conigliaro
1971 Boston Red Sox Color Picture Pack Billy Conigliaro (cropped).jpg
Outfielder
Born: (1947-08-15) August 15, 1947 (age 72)
Revere, Massachusetts
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 11, 1969, for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 1973, for the Oakland Athletics
MLB statistics
Batting average.256
Home runs40
Runs batted in128
Teams
Career highlights and awards

CareerEdit

Conigliaro was born in Revere, Massachusetts, and played high school baseball in nearby Swampscott. In the 1965 Major League Baseball draft—the first-ever MLB draft—Conigliaro was selected by the Boston Red Sox with the fifth overall pick, becoming the first player ever drafted by the team.[1] Conigliaro played in the minor leagues during the 1965 to 1968 seasons,[2] then made his MLB debut with Boston in April 1969.[3]

Conigliaro showed great promise as a hitter in his years in Boston, with 16 doubles and 18 home runs in 1970, and 26 doubles and 11 home runs in 1971. He finished 8th in the American League in doubles in 1971, his most productive year in the majors. In 1970, he was 10th in American League in being hit by pitches, with seven. His most memorable game may have been on July 4, 1970, when both Billy and his brother Tony homered against the Cleveland Indians.

Conigliaro was part of a ten-player blockbuster that sent him, George Scott, Jim Lonborg, Ken Brett, Joe Lahoud and Don Pavletich from the Red Sox to the Milwaukee Brewers for Tommy Harper, Marty Pattin, Lew Krausse and minor-league outfielder Pat Skrable on October 10, 1971.[4] Billy, who idolized his older brother Tony, had been highly critical of the Red Sox for trading his brother to the California Angels, especially after Tony's remarkable 36 home runs during the 1970 season after his famous "beaning" incident in 1967.

Unhappy in Milwaukee, Conigliaro announced his retirement from baseball in the middle of the 1972 season. He came back to baseball in 1973 as a part-time player with the eventual World Champion Oakland Athletics, making brief appearances in that season's American League Championship Series and the World Series. Once again, Billy became disgruntled with ownership—this time in Oakland—and retired at the conclusion of that season. He attempted a comeback with Oakland several years later, but ultimately retired for good after being assigned to their Triple-A affiliate on what was to be a "temporary" basis.

Personal lifeEdit

Conigliaro was an early pupil of Shotokan karate grandmaster Kazumi Tabata, who acknowledged Conigliaro in his book.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Davis, Caylan (June 8, 2010). "Top Red Sox Draft Picks Since 1965, From Billy Conigliaro to Kolbrin Vitek". NESN. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  2. ^ "Billy Conigliaro Winter & Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  3. ^ "Billy Conigliaro". Retrosheet. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  4. ^ "Red Sox, Brewers in 10‐Player Deal," United Press International (UPI), Sunday, October 10, 1971. Retrieved April 13, 2020
  5. ^ Tabata, Kazumi, Warrior Wisdom, Tuttle publishing, 2013, ISBN 978-4805312711]

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit