Harper and Conigliaro

Myworld has added a spot for a guest writer called Tarter’s Sauce.  We entertained him for a couple days, taking him to Nationals park to see a game there and then the next day driving him up to Baltimore for a game at Camden Yards.  We will entertain other guest writers for articles if they have something to say about baseball, especially from the international perspective.  The only requirement is that you do it for the love of the game.  There will be no compensation for any article.  The article is copied below:

I’ve been curious about Bryce Harper - like the rest of the country - since his appearance in Sports Illustrated as a 15-year old tape measure hitting catcher.  

Now 19 and performing all manner of baseball feats (stealing home!) I was eager to get a look for myself.  The Nationals took on the Brewers and Harper was playing center field.

There’s little doubt he’s a legit centerfielder. In the very first inning he took a double away from Aramis Ramirez making an outstanding play going back, back back to the wall and hauling in a drive. He finished it off with a mini crash into the wall and I wondered if that could be his undoing someday. He has that reckless, hell bent style that provides a thrill a game and is reminiscent of such kamikazes as George Brett. Unfortunately those guys always end up on the DL sooner or later.

His first at bat, demonstrated another side of his versatility, a swinging bunt - it was nothing special - but it showcased his speed. No sooner was he on first than he stole second. Minutes later he stole third  - further proof of his reckless abandon.

His 20th HR as a still teenager got national recognition and recalled a name from the past, Boston’s own, Tony Conigliaro. Tony C as a 19 year old rookie for the Red Sox hit 24 home runs. He too played right field but the comparisons end at that point. At 6-3, 185 Conig was a right handed slugger tailor made for Fenway. He truly was Boston’s own, born in nearby Revere and going to High School at St, Mary’s in Lynn. His trademark home run was high floaters into the screen.

The following season at 20, he hit 32 homeruns and reached 100 career homers by 22. As remarkable a home run hitter as he was at an early age, he was not the all around player Harper is. Tony C was not a basestealing threat like Harper, nor did he have near the outfield skills.

As most Boston fans know his career hit a tragic turn getting beaned in the midst of the 1967 season (with 20 HRs).  He missed the rest of 67 and all of 68 recovering. He had one more good season but then had relapses of vision problems.

He died at only 45 years old.  


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