The saga of Tony Conigliaro and his impact upon the Red Sox, Fenway Park and the Fenway Faithful would not be complete without an epilogue, as I wrote in the first story of Conig, he is a classic Shakespearian tragic hero. There are four books written about him, one of them his,
One written by David Cataneo http://www.amazon.com/Tony-Triumph-Tragedy-Conigliaro/dp/1558536590/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326319813&sr=1-1
And one recently released by Bruce Fitzpatrick which will soon make its way to the big screen. http://www.amazon.com/Tony-Conigliaro-Story-1/dp/1468019708/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326320228&sr=1-1
Tony C still matters!
Following Tony’s death in February of 1990, the Red Sox announced the establishment of The Tony Conigliaro Award to forevermore honor his memory. It is given annually to a major league baseball player “who best overcomes an obstacle and adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage that were trademarks of Conigliaro.” Among its winners has been Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester who overcame non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2006.
Jon Lester 2007.
Tony C still matters…..
Since his passing, there has been those among the Fenway Faithful who believe his number 25 should be retired to the facade of Red Sox immortals in right field. The Red Sox have been steadfast in their criteria for that honor and it has included election into the Major League Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Carlton Fisk unveils Pesky’s number 6.
However, in September of 2008, the Red Sox made an exception to that criteria and retired the number 6 of the legendary Johnny Pesky. This has increased the number of those who believe Tony C should be so honored, because,
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.
Tony C still matters.
New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, himself a young player trying to make it while Tony was nearing the end, has chosen to wear Tony’s number 25 in his honor. A gesture that has many a Red Sox fan pleased that the new skipper seems to “get” what Tony means to them, and that’s because,
Tony C still matters.
So when Bobby Valentine’s tenure is through and he peels off the number 25 for the last time, the Red Sox should place it on that right field facade. An ever-present reminder that greatness is eternally worth striving towards but it can also be fleeting and can be stolen away in less than a heartbeat! An ever-present reminder of the urgency of this life and what a precious gift it is and not a moment, not one single instant, should be squandered.
And if the Red Sox choose to not follow that course, it won’t really matter, but Tony C….. Tony C will still matter…..Tony C will always matter!
And so it is on this day in Fenway Park history, January 13, 2012.