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Bosox Rookie Conigliaro Injured at Comiskey Park

June 25, 1964 - “You won’t loaf long,” Red Sox trainer Jack Fadden told rookie outfielder Tony Conigliaro (pictured) today at Fenway Park after putting Tony through a couple of knee-bending tests.

Tony’s left knee and right thumb were sore. He had some other minor aches and pains. But he was cheered by the fact that he could be back in action sometime this weekend.

“He has youth on his side,” owner Tom Yawkey said, “and that’s the finest thing there is.” It was the first meeting of Yawkey and the brightest youngster the Sox have had in years.

Tony bounced back so swiftly from his crash into the left field grandstand in Chicago’s Comiskey Park Wednesday night that he might even be available to pinch hit by Sunday.

“Do you think you can play tomorrow night?” manager Johnny Pesky kiddingly inquired after Tony had turned his crutches over to Fadden.

“I’ll try,” replied the willing teenager.

But Fadden will not permit Tony to play or even to swing a bat prior to Sunday.

“The first couple of days after one of those crashes are the ones where you have to be most careful,” Fadden said. “He’ll just take things easy until Sunday.

“He has a little water on the knee. If I put in a hypodermic needle, I’d probably get out about three or four drops of water. That’s how little water there is and how good his condition is.”

Conigliaro is going to be more careful about measuring the distance between the foul lines and grandstands around the league. He had been advised to do this by Pesky and fellow outfielder Carl Yastrzemski.

He had done some exploring of the Comiskey Park territory he patrols, but admitted that he didn’t do a thorough job. On his first trip to Chicago, he had played center field. This was his first series in which he was the left fielder.

“I didn’t know I was so close to the wall,” Tony said today. “I never touched the ball [Ron] Hansen hit, but I came very close. I was lucky not to get smashed badly. I learned how to fall in a relaxed position from my football days. I guess it’s instinctive because this thing happened so fast, I hardly remember much about it after my knee hit the concrete wall. But I must have been relaxed when I fell.”

The concrete wall in Comiskey, which goes from one foul pole to the other, is 3½ feet high. It isn’t padded.

“They should have it padded,” said Tony’s father, Sal. “I don’t know why they don’t. Maybe now that this has happened, they will.”


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