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Eddie Kasko was Boston’s new manager. The team finished third again in the East at 87-75, but were a huge 21 games behind the Baltimore Orioles. Nonetheless, they outdrew every team in baseball.

Carl Yastrzemski hit 40 homers for the second year in a row, and led the league in slugging, runs scored, and on-base percentage, batting for a .329 average. He drove in 102. Tony C hit 36 homers, and his brother Billy hit 18 – the combined is still the most ever hit by two relatives playing on the same team in a given year.

Tony drove in 116 runs (#1 on the Red Sox), while Billy drove in exactly have that number – 58. The Red Sox team hit 203 homer, a record for the ballclub at the time. The only one of the eight position players who didn’t hit at least 16 homers was catcher Jerry Moses. Veterans Ray Culp (17-14), Gary Peters (16-11), and Sonny Siebert (15-8) won 48 games.

Siebert saw a no-hitter fall apart on June 19, after eight innings. Leading 5-0 against the Yankees, he threw all of seven pitches in the top of the ninth, and gave us four hits and four runs. Kasko hustled Sparky Lyle in to save the game. Yaz cost himself the batting crown. He twisted his ankle in the September 30 game. Instead of coming out of a game that meant nothing in the standings, he kept playing and made two outs in his last two at-bats. He finished batting .3286, and Alex Johnson of the Angels finished at .329 – then came out of his last game. Had Yaz left the game after suffering the injury, he would have been at .3297872.

Even into the 21st century, the Red Sox close off “the triangle” in the center-field bleachers during day games, so the batter has a better background for hitting and the white baseball isn’t “lost” in the white shirts or general crowd view from the plate. The practice began in 1970, with the Sox creating “Conig’s Corner” to help protect him against being struck by another pitch. General Manager Dick O’Connell made himself the most unpopular man in town for a while, trading Tony himself to the California Angels for second baseman Doug Griffin. O’Connell may have known more about Conig’s medical condition than he let on. Tony hit .222 for the Angels and left the game.

By Bill Nowlin
 

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Tagged:
Alex Johnson, Billy Conigliaro, Carl Yastrzemski, Dick O'Connell, Doug Griffin, Eddie Kasko, Gary Peters, Ray Culp, Sonny Siebert, Sparky Lyle, Tony Conigliaro

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