1964
ED CONNOLLY   P

Ed Connolly Jr was born on December 3, 1939, in Brooklyn. His dad, Ed Connolly Sr was a catcher, who played for the Red Sox from 1929-1932. Had Ed Senior lived just six months longer, he would have seen Ed Junior begin his career with the Red Sox. Junior had been born in 1939 so he never had seen his dad play, either.

Ed Junior attended St. Maryís elementary school and St. Josephís High School in Pittsfield, Mass, and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, from which he received a bachelorís degree in business administration. He was named to the All-Western Massachusetts high school baseball squad in June 1957, and pitched in American Legion baseball later that summer.

After graduation from UMass, the Red Sox signed him to a minor-league contract in June 1961. He might have attracted more interest, but had already experienced arm troubles while pitching in college.

His first year in the minor leagues was in 1961, for the Olean (New York) Red Sox in the Class-D New York-Penn League, where he had a so-so year. He was bumped up to Winston-Salem in the Class-B Carolina League in 1962. That was the year he almost quit baseball. Arm trouble had nothing to do with his thoughts of quitting, but he was making only $400 a month, was married, expecting a baby and the bills were piling up.

The Red Sox advanced him to Double-A Reading of the Eastern League in 1963. Late in 1963, Ed Senior died unexpectedly in November, at work in the woods of Pittsfield, employed by the Massachusetts Natural Resources Department.

In 1964,  manager Johnny Pesky gave Ed a spring training invite. He pitched himself on to the team on the strength of his spring training performances. He wasnít getting run support and in his first 11 starts, over which he was 2-9, the Red Sox had scored a total of 15 runs. In September, he threw something of a masterpiece, a two-hit shutout of the Kansas City Athletics at Fenway. Heíd given up one hit in the sixth and one in the eighth, and struck out 12 batters. All in all, despite a 4-11 record with an ERA of 4.91, he had showed some promise.

The following spring, Billy Herman had become Red Sox manager and Ed was wild in both of his preseason starts. He traveled north with the team, and stayed with the big-league club for a while, but in April was sent down to Toronto. There, he developed a sore arm and became even wilder than he had been.

He also spent 1966 in the minors, but a rung lower on the ladder, pitching in his hometown for the Double-A (Eastern League) Pittsfield Red Sox. There he was 5-10, with an ERA of 4.42. 

The Indians selected him in the November 1966 minor-league draft, and he reappeared in the majors with Cleveland in 1967. He started the season in the Pacific Coast League with the Portland Beavers and got the call back to the big leagues in June.

In December his contract was sold from Portland to Seattle, the PCL club of the California Angels, but he didnít make the big-league team in 1968 spring training, so he quit baseball. That summer, he pitched some in Bostonís Park League.

After baseball, he initially worked as an investment executive at Shearson Hayden Stone in Pittsfield, and then with Kidder, Peabody and Co. in Pittsfield. As a stockbroker with Kidder Peabody in Pittsfield, he reportedly made more money after one year than he ever had in baseball. He was promoted to manager of the firmís Springfield office, and later manager of the companyís flagship headquarters office in New York City. After Paine Webber acquired Kidder in 1994, he rose to become a senior vice president.

Ed Connolly passed away after suffering a heart attack, at age 58, on July 1, 1998 in New Canaan, Connecticut.