Today in Sports History: August 18th

8/18/1967 - Hamilton beans Tony C

22 year-old Red Sox phenom Tony Conigliaro is beaned with a pitch from the Angels' Jack Hamilton. Conig was off to becoming one of the greatest players the Red Sox ever had -- he was already an All-Star and the reigning AL leader in home runs; he was the fastest man to ever hit 100 homers, and Sox manager Johnny Pesky called him, "Probably the best looking young player I ever saw." He had even released an album and promoted it on the Merv Griffin Show.

The pitch from Hamilton put a stop to all that. Conigliaro was nailed just below his left eye, leaving his cheekbone fractured, jaw dislocated, and eye extremely swollen. The damage to his retina was severe and doctors said he would never see well enough to play again. But in 1969, after sitting out the entire '68 season, his vision improved enough to return to the Red Sox -- earning him Comeback Player of the Year honors. After a 20-home run campaign in 1969, the next year he hit 36 home runs and drove in 116 RBI. It appeared as though he had made it all the way back.

But his vision continued to blur, and in 1971 he was traded to the Angels of all teams. He hit only 4 home runs that season and decided to retire. He briefly came back to the Sox in 1975 before leaving the game for good.

In 1982, Conigliaro fell into an eight-year coma after suffering a heart attack in the passenger's seat of a car. He had just auditioned to be a Red Sox color commentator. In 1990, he died at the age of 45.

"I know in my heart I wasn't trying to hit him, I had no reason to throw at him," Hamilton said years later. ''I've had to live with it; I think about it a lot. Watching baseball on TV, anytime a guy gets hit, I think about it. I was just a common pitcher but people remember me for what happened to Tony."

8/18/2009 - Favre signs with the Vikings

Six months after he tearfully announced his retirement -- for the second time -- and three weeks after affirming that he would never again return to the gridiron, Brett Favre signs a two-year $25 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings.

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