Here at BoSox Injection, we would like to take a moment to honor former Boston Red Sox player and long-time scout Chuck Koney, after his passing at the age of 90.
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The Associated Press was published by ESPN reporting that “Koney died on Monday in Orland Park, Illinois, at age 90. He had been a scout in the organization for more than 40 years after his playing career ended when he lost his leg in a home heater explosion.”
In the original report by the Schenectady Gazette in 1949, “Koney, [Red Sox minor league team] Louisville infielder whose right leg was amputated Tuesday, has been offered a lifetime job in the Red Sox organization.” Tom Yawkey, the owner of the Red Sox, was reported saying, “if there is any other job in the organization Chuck would rather have besides scouting, he can have it as soon as we make arrangements.”
Scouting must have been his first choice.
According to the Associated Press, Koney “spent the next 42 years as a scout, at one time visiting Carl Yastrzemski at Notre Dame and hitting fly balls to the future Hall of Famer.”
What would have happened if Koney wasn’t who he was for the Red Sox? What would have happened if Yawkey wasn’t notoriously generous to his players, major and minor league level?
In Triple-A, Koney had a slash line of .286/.334/.372 with nine home runs and 135 RBIs in three seasons. Those numbers occurred in 305 games and 1149 at-bats. With a .965 fielding percentage and a 5.38 range factor at second base, Koney was the prospect ready to replace Hall-of-Famer Bobby Doerr. The talent on top of the tragedy must have made Yawkey think that Koney would have an eye for those same skills in others, hence the job offer.
And what an eye. Yastrzemski is an undisputed legend in Red Sox history, arguably one of the best of all time. To have a hand in bringing Yaz to Boston, let alone all of the other players that have brought the Red Sox anywhere near the World Series, Koney deserves praise and remembrance.
Koney retired from scouting in 1992 and stayed on as a consultant. That is the life of a loyal man in Red Sox Nation. And that’s just the numbers. All of those meeting, those press conferences, those trips to goodness-knows-where to find players for the team, those handshakes and smiles, those days not seeing his family for the benefit of his other family. Those things meant so much to the team, the organization, the multiple owners, and generations upon generations of Red Sox fans around the world.
Thank you Chuck Koney, and thank you to the Koney family for allowing us the privilege to have him for as long as we did. His sacrifice and yours will always be remembered.
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