April 25, 1866|
|Died: September 9, 1926
|July 22, 1886 for the Baltimore Orioles|
Last MLB appearance
|October 8, 1888 for the Boston Beaneaters|
Richard Butler Conway (April 25, 1865 – September 9, 1926) was a pitcher/right fielder who played from 1886 through 1888 in Major League Baseball. Conway batted left-handed and threw right-handed. He was born in Lowell, Massachusetts.
As a teenager, Conway played for local Lowell teams. In 1884, he played outfield for the Salem team in the Massachusetts State Association, and pitched for the Lawrence team of the New England League in 1885.
Conway was 21 years old when he entered the majors in 1886 with the Baltimore Orioles, playing for them one year before joining the Boston Beaneaters (1887–1888). While playing for Baltimore, Conway entered in the baseball record books when he made battery with his older brother, Bill Conway, to form one of 16 pitcher/catcher combinations of brothers in major league history. His most productive season came in 1887, when he collected career-numbers in wins (9), starts (26), and innings pitched (222 ⅓).
In a three-season career, Conway posted a 15–24 record with a 4.78 ERA in 41 appearances, including 41 starts and 39 complete games, giving up 187 earned runs on 404 hits and 137 walks while striking out 121 in 352.0 innings of work. He also played 18 games as an outfielder, compiling a career .230 batting average (47-for-204) with 27 runs and 14 RBI.
Following his majors career, Conway returned to the New England League and later pitched in the International League. He died in his homeland of Lowell at the age of 61.
- Conway was one of the first hurlers who could deliver an overhand pitch from a pitcher's box whose front line was just 50 feet from home plate, much closer than the modern standard of 60 feet, six inches. In 1885, while playing in the New England League, he was the Lawrence's primary pitcher and his brother Bill the regular catcher, as the siblings helped their team to win the league championship. Unfortunately, on July 23 of that season, one of Conway's pitches fractured the skull of Bill McGunnigle, by then the Brockton player-manager, effectively ending McGunnigle's playing career.