Gene Conley, MLB and NBA champion, dies at 86

Pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, Gene Conley on April 25, 1959. (AP Photo/SM)

BOSTON (AP) – 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.

Bill Russell (6) of the Boston Celtics lays up a shot as Clyde Lovelletts (34) of the St. Louis Hawks attempts to block the play in their National Basketball Assn. playoff game at Boston Garden on April 5, 1960. Watching the action is Gene Conley (17) of the Celtics. (AP Photo)

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 right-hander 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.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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