Donald Eugene (Gene) Conley (born November 10, 1930) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played eleven seasons from to for four different teams. Conley was also played Forward (basketball) in the 1952-1953 season and from 1958 to 1964 for two teams in the National Basketball Association. He is best known for being the only person to win championships in two different sports, one with the Milwaukee Braves in the 1957 World Series and three Boston Celtics championships from 1959-61.
Conley was the winning pitcher in the Major League Baseball and was selected for the 1954 and 1959 games.
Early life Edit
Conley was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma. While still young, his family moved to Richland, Washington. He attended Richland High School where he played multiple sports. He reached the all-state team in Baseball, and Basketball, and was the state champion in the High jump. Conley attended Washington State University, where he was a member of Acacia Fraternity. In 1950, he led Washington State to a second place national rank in College baseball. But the offers were getting bigger, and in August of he signed a professional contract with the Milwaukee Braves for a $3,000 bonus.
Minor league career Edit
Conley attended spring training in and was assigned to Hartford of the Eastern League (baseball) by the request of former Braves star Tommy Holmes, who was managing the club. After a month, Conley had a record of five wins and only one lost and was praised by observers in the league, saying that he had the best fastball since former pitcher Van Lingle Mungo played in the league in . On June 10th, he threw a One-hitter against Schenectady Blue Jays, giving up the lone hit in the seventh inning. Holmes was promoted to manager of the Braves on June 25, and was replaced by future Baseball Travis Jackson.
By August 1st, Conley had a record of 16 wins, with only three losses, leading the league. He was unanimously selected to the Eastern League All-Star team on August 29 He received the Eastern League MVP award that season, after he became the first player in Hartford history to win twenty games in a single season.
In the beginning of the season, Conley, along with fellow rookies George Crowe and Eddie Mathews, was invited to spring training, with a chance of making the roster. Around that time, the United States Army was drafting for the Korean War. Many major and minor league players were selected to fight in the war, depleting team rosters. Conley was deferred because of his height (6'8'), which was above the Army maximum height for a solder.
Professional Basketball career Edit
In the middle of his first season of professional baseball, Conley agreed to sign with the Wilkes-Barre Barons of the strugling American Basketball League (1925-1955)
After his retirement from professional sports, Conley started working for a Duct tape company in Boston, Massachusetts. After a year working there, the owner of the duct tape company died. Conley later founded his own paper company, Foxboro Paper Company, in which he owned for 36 years until he retired from the business.
Conley currently lives in Clermont, Florida, where he plays Golf and watches the Orlando Magic play on his free time.
- Baseball Library
- Baseball Reference
- Basketball-Reference.com: Gene Conley
- Conley had twice as much fun at The Boston Globe
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