Former long-time Boston Red Sox scout Chuck Koney passed away on Monday, October 12 in Orland Park, IL. He had turned 90 earlier this month.
A top scout in the Red Sox organization for more than 40 years, Koney had his playing career cut short due to a tragic accident in May 1949. An up-and-coming prospect, he hit .277 in 616 games over seven years as a member of Boston's minor league system, with parts of six years for the organization's highest-level farm team, the Louisville Colonels.
Koney, a right-handed hitter, was being groomed by the Red Sox as the heir to Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr at second base, but his promising playing career came to an end at just 22 years old. Limited by an arm injury, Koney was visiting his family in his native Chicago when a hot water tank exploded in the basement of his parents' house, causing injuries that required the amputation of his right leg.
Tom Yawkey, then owner of the Red Sox, immediately offered Koney a lifetime job with the team. The following year, he began what would become a 42-year scouting career for the organization.
Major leaguers signed by Koney include 14-year veteran pitcher Paul Quantrill, an All-Star with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2001, as well as Ron Mahay, Chico Walker, Dana Kiecker, John Leister, Brian Denman, and Joel Finch.
As part of his scouting duties for the Red Sox, Koney visited Carl Yastrzemski at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, where he hit fly balls to the top prospect.
Koney was named baseball's Midwest Scout of the Year in 1992, his final season as a full-time scout. He remained with the Red Sox as a consultant.
Koney is survived by his wife of 68 years, Lorraine, daughters Lynn and Bonnie, son Chuck Jr., six grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and sisters Marion and Lorraine.
A memorial mass will be held Wednesday, October 21 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 9300 167th Street, Orland Hills, IL 60487. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Red Sox Foundation, 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215, or at www.redsoxfoundation.org.