In the last few years the Boston Red Sox have retired the numbers of a few Latino greats such as Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz, could Luis Tiant’s number be next?
Boston Red Sox legend Luis Tiant is the Cuban with the most victories in the big league history with 229, which places him 61st on the all-time list. The native of Havana had an ERA of 3.30 and struck out 2,416 during his career.
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He was a two time all-star with the Sox. He also won the comeback of the year in 1972 and led the AL in shutouts in 1974 with BoSox.
In 1975 he won 18 games and was a big-game pitcher for the team during the playoffs. His pitching was key in the AL Championship Series victory against Oakland, the three-time defending champ. A series in which he won his only start a 7-1 victory in which he only surrendered three hits and an unearned run.
Although the team lost to Cincinnati in seven games in the ’75 series he pitched a great game one, a game in which he pitched a complete-game five-hit shutout and threw 173 pitches in front of his father Luis Tiant, Sr. He was also the victor in game four and left game seven with a no-decision.
Luis Tiant was magnificent in that World Series sporting a record of 2-0 and a 3.60 ERA. For the postseason that year, he was 3-0 with an earned run average of 2.65.
During his time in Boston, he compiled a record of 122-81, an ERA of 3.36, and fanned 1,075 hitters. In 1997 he was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame. The crafty righty is 5th on the team’s all-time list in victories and 4th in innings pitched.
If one was to ask the Fenway faithful, I guarantee the would unanimously call for the “Little Louie’s” number to be retired. Hopefully, his number retirement could also serve as a springboard to a long-overdue Hall of Fame induction.
How much longer does one of the most underrated pitchers have to wait to receive his just due?
How does a pitcher whose numbers are comparable with Catfish Hunter‘s, not have his number retired and/or isn’t enshrined in Cooperstown?
What will the future bring this ex-big league great? Only time will tell us that. Let’s hope the veteran’s committee does the right thing in the near future and inducts “El Tiante”, where he belongs.