In the 4th inning of an August 18, 1967 game, Boston RF Tony Conigliaro was struck in the eye by a Jack Hamilton pitch. Conigliaro was having, what would have been, his best pro season on a team that would eventually find it's way into a 7 game World Series defeat.
Not for a season and a half later would Tony C play in a Major League Baseball game. His first game back would be Opening Day 1969 in Baltimore. Until now, I had not seen any footage of this game. What we have, though, is color broadcast footage thanks to MLB Network.
All footage comes from a 15 second clip of MLB Network's 50 Most Memorable Opening Acts, a show about Opening Day performances. In the clip is the 1969 Opening Day game.
The game would go into the 10th inning, which is where it appears we pick up here. In the 10th of this game, Tony C hit a HR, to give the Red Sox a brief lead. The game would be tied again and eventually won in the 12th.
More than likely what we are seeing here is news footage from a local station either in Boston or Baltimore. First, we see Tony C stepping into the box in what has the look of broadcast footage.
The clips of the ball in flight appear to be from something much grainer and less 'broadcast' polished, as if it was MLB Film footage. It could also be recorded footage for the news broadcast as opposed to the other clips being from the actual game broadcast.
It cuts back to a much better frame quality and rate of Tony C touching home. You can see George Scott waiting to hit after him.
Keeping in the broadcast footage, we see postgame handshakes of the pitcher coming off the field. Here is the interesting part. The footage shows a pitcher with #30 coming off the field. The number belongs to Jose Santiago according to Baseball Almanac.com. Jose Santiago, who might not even be the guy pictured, didn't pitch for the 1969 Red Sox until August.
Also in the mix is #1. One would think that it would be Billy Conigliaro, who wore that number ath the start of the 1969 season. However, the player is African American, which would lead you to believe it is Joe Azcue. Azcue didn't join the team until April 23rd and was traded by the beginning of June.
In all honesty, I have absolutely no idea what this is a clip of. The final parts of the clip are dark, which even though the game went 12 innings, it also only went 3 hours and 40 some minutes which would leave it at around 6 pm. Early in the year, it is possible to be that dark.
What I am also seeing is that Tony C stepping to the plate appears to have blue seats in the background, like those you'd see at Yankee Stadium. He has longer sleeves, which he doesn't have when he touches home. If I had to bet, I'd wager that the footage of him coming to bat is that from April 14, 1967 and Billy Rohr's near no-hitter (which I have seen footage of). Either way, I'm thoroughly confused. The only real broadcast footage which I believe is Tony C from Opening Day is him touching homeplate.