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Gene Conley dies; MLB, NBA champion was 86

Gene Conley, above as a Red Sox in

Gene Conley, above as a Red Sox in 1959, helped the Milwaukee Braves win the World Series in 1957 and won three NBA titles with the Boston Celtics. Credit: AP / SM

BOSTON — Gene Conley, one of the only players in history to win championships in two major professional sports, has died. He was 86.

The Boston Red Sox, for whom Conley played for from 1961-63, say he died Tuesday.

Conley helped pitch the Milwaukee Braves to a World Series championship in 1957 and won three NBA titles with the Celtics. Otto Graham won championships in the NFL and the NBL, a precursor to the NBA.

Conley was a righthander and three-time All-Star who spent 11 years in baseball with four teams. He was selected by the Celtics in the 1952 draft and, after spending most of the next six years playing only baseball, he returned to the NBA in 1958 and won three consecutive titles.

Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Conley and his wife, Katie, established the Foxboro Paper Company in Foxborough, Massachusetts. They had three children and seven grandchildren.


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