Happy #81 to the great Luis Tiant

We say happy birthday to the great Tiant.

Luis Tiant was born in Marianao, Cuba on this day in 1940. His father was Luis Eleuterio Tiant, who pitched professionally in the old Negro Leagues in the US as well as in Mexico.

Tiant made his debut in 1964 with Cleveland: 10-4, 9 complete games, 3 shutouts and a 2.83 ERA. A few years later, Luis led the AL in 1968 with a 1.60 ERA! By the late 1960’s, El Tiante was one of the best pitchers in baseball. Suddenly, he suffered a series of arm injuries in 1970-71, was released and passed up by several teams who thought that he was finished.

Everything changed when the Red Sox gave him a chance in 1972: 15 wins and a AL leading 1.91 ERA. Tiant won 81 games over the next 4 seasons and became the darling of Fenway Park

We remember Tiant and the 1975 post-season. He shut down the A’s in game 1 of the ALCS, beat the Reds in games 1 and 4 of the World Series. And his aforementioned father had a chance to watch him pitch. It was a wonderful post season for father and son.

Luis Luis retired with 229 wins, a 3.30 ERA and 189 complete games. In my opinion, he should be in The Hall of Fame. Let’s hope that he goes in the next time around.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).