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One Of A Kind [Hardcover]

By R Conley Katheryn (Author)
Our Price $ 24.64  
Retail Value $ 28.99  
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Item Number 124319  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   340
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.21" Width: 6.14" Height: 0.81"
Weight:   1.4 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 19, 2004
Publisher   Advantage Biography
ISBN  0975433253  
EAN  9780975433256  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
The book has over 40 pictures and chronicles Gene's unique and amazing career, winning world championships in Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. Gene Conley is the only 2- sport athlete to win world championships in 2 major pro sports, the World Series in 1957 with the Milwaukee Braves and 3 NBA World Championships with the Boston Celtics; 58/59, 59/60, 60/61, making MLB All Star teams in 1954, 1955 and 1959 and Basketball's Eastern League's All Star teams in 66/67 and 67/68. Hall of Fame in Washington State, Washington State University's Hall of Fame, Hall of Honors, in the PAC-10 Basketball Conference, Baseball's HOF in the Minor League Section as the only Minor League Player to win the Minor League Player of the Year twice - once in the class A Eastern League in Hartford, CT, 1951 and then in the American Association's class AAA, in Toledo, OH in 1953. President "Red" Auerbach of the Boston Celtics stated on the book's jacket: "Gene Conley was one of the greatest athletes of our generation". The book tells the reader interesting stories of his childhood, his being kidnapped by the Idaho State University coach and players the day before registering at Washington State University, his offer to play the "lead" in a Broadway play, being offered $20,000.00 not to play in the NBA, his run-ins with the Mafia, his leadership in gaining a NBA pension for those NBA players who played before 1965 and finally the explanation of that mystical and legendary tale of his interrupted 1962 season while with the Boston Red Sox, along with Pumpsie Green and his aborted trip to Israel.

Publishers Description
Many have tried to become world champion two-sport professional athletes, the most well known may be Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Danny Ainge or even Michael Jordan. There is only one who actually achieved this goal and his name is Gene Conley. One Of A Kind chronicles Gene's amazing career where he was able to win world championships in Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. One reason that you might not recognize the name of Gene Conley is that he won the World Series with the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and three NBA Championships with the Boston Celtics in 58/59, 59/60 and 60/61. If Gene had achieved this today he would have multi-million dollar contracts with both teams, multi-million dollar commercial endorsement contracts and perhaps be the biggest name in sports. Gene played in an era with some of the all-time greats in both sports. Here is what some of them had to say about him and this book. "Gene Conley was one of the greatest athletes of our generation. There was no tougher or more competitive player than Gene. He is the only man, to my knowledge, to be a member of a championship baseball team and basketball team in the same year. That is quite an accomplishment." Arnold "Red Auerbach, Boston Celtics President. Red shares Phil Jackson's honor as the "winningest" coach in the NBA. "Gene and I were both Rookies when we broke into the Majors with the Milwaukee Braves in 1954. I could tell right away that he was going to be a great big league pitcher. He was a natural athlete. He could pitch, run and had a good bat. I enjoyed him as a friend and teammate for several years. I was playing in the 1955 All Star game in Milwaukee when he got the win and we both played together in the 1959 All Star game in Los Angeles. I was not surprised that he was able also to play several years with the World Championship Boston Celtics. What a great achievement to be able to perform at the highest level on World Championship teams in both baseball and basketball. We are to this day, great friends." Hank Aaron: Present all time Home Run Leader. Inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame, played in 21 All Star Games, 23 years in the Majors, 1 World Championship. "Gene Conley was a great pitcher, a tough basketball player, a winner, and dedicated athlete who had a unique way of looking at life." Tom Heinsohn: In Basketball's Hall of Fame, he was on 8 World Championship teams with the Celtics, 9 years with them as a player, 6 time all star, 2 World Championship NBA titles as a coach. "Gene was really something. I don't know of anyone else quite like him. He has a World Series ring and an NBA Championship ring. To have a great success in two sports is rare. To me, Gene was a Giant figure on the mound. He really scared me. You had to respect him. I did and I still do. A great guy." Willie Mayes: Inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame, played in 20 All Star Games. Was on one World Series Championship team. Twice, MVP of the National League. Played 22 years in Major League Baseball and was known as the greatest all around baseball player of all times. "We knew from watching him win the World Series that Gene was a great pitcher. When he came on board with the Celtics, he quickly proved to be a solid rebounder and superb defender in low post. Playing alongside and as a back-up to Bill Russell, Gene played with tremendous motivation and heart, contributing to three more World Championships. A bona fide double legend in two sports, Gene never lost his smile, his team spirit or his positive attitude. Thanks to Katie Conley for insuring his phenomenal accomplishments won't be forgotten." K. C. Jones, Inducted into Basketball's Hall of Fame, K.C.Jones played 9 seasons with the Celtics, was on eight World Championship teams and coached two World's Championship teams in the NBA. Friend since the fifties.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Gene Conley, pro baseball and basketball phenom  Feb 23, 2007
There are a lot of baseball biographies out there but this one provides a unique twist. Kathryn "Katie" Conley, the author of the book, is Gene Conley's wife and it is as much her story as it is his. You learn about their young lives, their courtship, Katie's devotion to the teaching of the Seventh Day Adventist church, and Gene's rise to play two professional sports, starting with the Boston Braves and later with the Boston Celtics. Gene would go on to win a World Series ring with the Milwaukee franchise in 1957 and then an NBA championship with the Celtics the year after (Conley would repeat to win two more consecutive NBA titles with the Celtics). Katie Conley is proud of her husband's achievements and she gives him his due.

The author doesn't gloss over her husband's shortcomings with alcohol abuse while playing ball. Both would admit that this, as well as arm trouble, brought his baseball career to an end much sooner than if he had taken better care of himself. Money is a major topic of the book. The chronic shortage of money when they first started life together, the contract disputes and issues around playing two professional sports,
and even the phone being removed because of mounting long distance bills
are some of the problems faced by the couple as Gene was, for a while, gone year 'round, playing basketball after baseball season was over and then diving into baseball in late spring (he went on to play baseball for the Phillies and the Red Sox and the Knicks in the NBA).

You are more likely to read about the horrid hotels and motels in which they would stay than you would about what it was like to pitch in the World Series. There is a distance in the telling of the story, since it is not written by Gene himself. There are glimpses into the goofiness that went on in baseball like the "Braves Playboys" where Gene at 6'10" is on the floor Indian wrestling someone and he ends up knocking he legs out from under a piano. Of course, the gendarmes were brought in, which later caused Gene a paucity playing time under manager Fred Haney.

Perhaps one of the starker topics that threads its way through the biography is all of the injuries that he suffered playing two sports: fingers, hands, ankles, hip, feet, shoulder are all mangled or abused or damaged sometime during his career and like many others of the time, he played when he was hurt...as much out of fear being replaced as loyalty to his team.

Also, in this book, you get the full account of why Gene Conley (after having been bludgeoned by the Yankees in game in the Bronx) decided after tying one on to catch a plane to Jerusalem. This AWOL action caught everyone off guard, even his family, who didn't know where he was.

Katie Conley does a good job explaining what it was like as a baseball wife and mom, trying to bring up three children and this adds a personal touch that pages of stats won't provide. It is also obvious that she is proud of her husband's accomplishments, not only on the mound or court, but also his work with NBA pensions. (Both of them founded organizations to lobby the NBA to provide pensions to older NBA players who were receiving little or no pension money.)

This book will not give you a pitch by pitch or jump shot by jump shot view of the professional careers of pro baseball and basketball. It does provide enough highlights of his career and a glimpse into his family's private life to provide well-rounded enjoyable reading.
 
The story of the baseball and basketball phenom, Gene Conley  Jan 20, 2007
There are a lot of baseball biographies out there but this one provides a unique twist. Kathryn "Katie" Conley, the author of the book, is Gene Conley's wife and it is as much her story as it is his. You learn about their young lives, their courtship, Katie's devotion to the teaching of the Seventh Day Adventist church, and Gene's rise to play two professional sports, starting with the Boston Braves and later with the Boston Celtics. Gene would go on to win a World Series ring with the Milwaukee franchise in 1957 and then an NBA championship with the Celtics the year after (Conley would repeat to win two more consecutive NBA titles with the Celtics). Katie Conley is proud of her husband's achievements and she gives him his due.

The author doesn't gloss over her husband's shortcomings with alcohol abuse while playing ball. Both would admit that this, as well as arm trouble, brought his baseball career to an end much sooner than if he had taken better care of himself. Money is a major topic of the book. The chronic shortage of money when they first started life together, the contract disputes and issues around playing two professional sports,
and even the phone being removed because of mounting long distance bills
are some of the problems faced by the couple as Gene was, for a while, gone year 'round, playing basketball after baseball season was over and then diving into baseball in late spring (he went on to play baseball for the Phillies and the Red Sox and the Knicks in the NBA).

You are more likely to read about the horrid hotels and motels in which they would stay than you would about what it was like to pitch in the World Series. There is a distance in the telling of the story, since it is not written by Gene himself. There are glimpses into the goofiness that went on in baseball like the "Braves Playboys" where Gene at 6'10" is on the floor Indian wrestling someone and he ends up knocking he legs out from under a piano. Of course, the gendarmes were brought in, which later caused Gene a paucity playing time under manager Fred Haney.

Perhaps one of the starker topics that threads its way through the biography is all of the injuries that he suffered playing two sports: fingers, hands, ankles, hip, feet, shoulder are all mangled or abused or damaged sometime during his career and like many others of the time, he played when he was hurt...as much out of fear being replaced as loyalty to his team.

Also, in this book, you get the full account of why Gene Conley (after having been bludgeoned by the Yankees in game in the Bronx) decided after tying one on to catch a plane to Jerusalem. This AWOL action caught everyone off guard, even his family, who didn't know where he was.

Katie Conley does a good job explaining what it was like as a baseball wife and mom, trying to bring up three children and this adds a personal touch that pages of stats won't provide. It is also obvious that she is proud of her husband's accomplishments, not only on the mound or court, but also his work with NBA pensions. (Both of them founded organizations to lobby the NBA to provide pensions to older NBA players who were receiving little or no pension money.)

This book will not give you a pitch by pitch or jump shot by jump shot view of the professional careers of pro baseball and basketball. It does provide enough highlights of his career and a glimpse into his family's private life to provide well-rounded enjoyable reading.
 
Gene Conley; nice guy  Feb 11, 2005
I know Katie and Gene, and they are wonderful people. Gene's sports life was terrific, to say the least. He played 2 national league sports, at the same time, basically; basketball and baseball. Not many can say that. This book highlights his life, his family, and him. God bless him, Katie, and their family, and those who read the book.
 

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