Luis Clemente Tiant Vega (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlwis ˈtjant]) (born November 23, 1940) is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) right-handed starting pitcher. He pitched in MLB for 19 years, primarily for the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox.
Tiant compiled a 229–172 record with 2416 strikeouts, a 3.30 ERA, 187 complete games, and 49 shutouts in 3486 1⁄3 innings. He was an All-Star for three seasons and 20-game winner for four seasons. He was the American League (AL) ERA leader in 1968 and 1972. He also was the AL leader in strikeouts for 9-innings in 1967 and the AL leader in shutouts in 1966, 1968, and 1974.
Tiant was considered for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum via voting of the Baseball Writers' Association of America from 1988 to 2002, and by era committees in 2011, 2014, and 2017, falling short of the required votes each time. He was inducted to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1997, and the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009.
Tiant at the 2009 premiere of Lost Son of Havana
|Born: November 23, 1940|
|July 19, 1964, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 4, 1982, for the California Angels|
|Earned run average||3.30|
|Career highlights and awards|
Tiant is the only child of Luis Tiant Sr. and Isabel Vega. From 1926 through 1948, the senior Tiant was a great left-handed pitcher for the Negro League's New York Cubans during the summer and the Cuban professional league's Cienfuegos in the winter, his heroics being followed by hundreds of thousands of Cubans. Luis, Jr. followed in his father's footsteps at an early age, joining both the local Little and Juvenile baseball leagues until he starred for the Havana team and was picked up for the Cuban Juvenile League All-Star team in 1957.
His talent was recognized by former Cleveland Indians All-Star, Bobby Ávila, who was scouting for talent in Cuba. Avila recommended him to the Mexico City Tigers of the Mexican League. Tiant was signed for $150 a month, and for the next three years he divided his time between the Tigers and the Havana Sugar Kings in the International League.
At the end of the summer of 1961, and under Avila's recommendation, Cleveland purchased Tiant's contract for $35,000. But with the rise of Fidel Castro's regime in his native Cuba—specifically, after heightened tensions following the US-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion in April of that year—it was impossible for Tiant to return home. He would not see his parents for 14 years.
Tiant progressed through the Indians' farm system beginning in 1962 with Charleston of the Eastern League, then on to Burlington, N.C., where he was one of the best pitchers in the Carolina League in 1963 and Portland, Oregon, in 1964. Tiant recalled that at Charleston, "I couldn't speak very good English but I understand racism. They treated me like a dog, but when I got to Portland, I didn't have any problems " (Oregonian, September 6, 2010). After a 15–1 record at Triple-A Portland which included a no-hitter and a one-hitter in consecutive starts, Tiant was called up by the Indians.
On July 19, 1964, Tiant debuted in the major leagues for the Cleveland Indians with a four-single, 11 strikeout, 3–0 shutout victory against the defending AL Champion New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The losing pitcher was Whitey Ford. Tiant finished his rookie season with a 10–4 record, 105 strikeouts, and a 2.83 ERA in 19 games.
Tiant broke through in 1968, after he altered his delivery so that he turned away from home plate during his motion, in effect creating a hesitation pitch. According to Tiant, the new motion was a response to a drop in his velocity due to a shoulder blade injury. Twisting and turning his body into unthinkable positions, Tiant would spend more time looking at second base than he did the plate as he prepared to throw. In that season, he led the league in ERA (1.60), shutouts (nine, including four consecutive), hits per nine innings (a still-standing franchise record 5.30, which broke Herb Score's 5.85 in 1956 and would be a Major-League record low until Nolan Ryan gave up 5.26 hits/9 innings in 1972), strikeouts per nine innings (9.22), while finishing with a 21–9 mark. His four consecutive shutouts are matched by only four other pitchers in the 50-year expansion era, with Don Drysdale (six, 1968), Bob Gibson (five, 1968), Orel Hershiser (five, 1988) and Gaylord Perry (four, 1970) being the others. Beside this, opposing hitters batted just .168 off Tiant, a major league record, and on July 3 he struck out 19 Minnesota Twins in a ten-inning game, setting an American League record for games of that length. His 1.60 ERA in 1968 was the lowest in the American League since Walter Johnson's 1.49 mark during the dead-ball era in 1919, and was eclipsed that season only by National Leaguer (St. Louis Cardinals) Bob Gibson's 1.12—the lowest ever during the live-ball era. With Sam McDowell, Sonny Siebert, and others, the Indians staff led the AL in strikeouts for five consecutive years, including a record 1189 strikeouts in 1967, a record that would stand for thirty years.
After an injury-plagued season in 1969, Tiant was traded to the Minnesota Twins in a multi-player deal that brought fellow pitcher Dean Chance and third baseman Graig Nettles to the Indians. With Minnesota, Tiant began 1970 with six wins, but then he fractured his right scapula, essentially ending his season and, some felt, his career. He showed some promise in the 1971 spring training, but he was released.
He was quickly called back up to the majors, and despite struggling through 1971 with a 1–7 record and 4.88 ERA, he would soon become one of the greatest and most beloved pitchers in Red Sox history and an idol in Boston. Becoming known as El Tiante at Fenway Park, in 1972 Tiant regained his old form with a 15–6 record and led the league with a 1.91 ERA. He would win 20 games in 1973 and 22 in 1974.
Though hampered by back problems in 1975, he won 18 games for the American League Champion Red Sox, then excelled for Boston in the postseason. In the playoffs he defeated the three time defending World Champion Oakland Athletics, allowing only three hits in a 7–1 complete game victory, then opened the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. His father and mother, having been allowed to visit from Cuba under a special visa, were in Fenway Park that game to watch their son defeat The Big Red Machine in a 6–0 five-hit shutout. This was one of the few times when the Reds were shut out in 1975, making Tiant's victory even more special. All six Red Sox runs were scored in the seventh inning; Tiant led off that inning (the designated hitter was not yet in use in World Series play) with a base hit off Don Gullett and eventually scored on Carl Yastrzemski's single for the first of those six runs.
Tiant won Game 4 as well (throwing 173 pitches in his second complete game in the series) and had a no-decision in Game 6, which has been called the greatest game ever played, after Carlton Fisk's dramatic game-winning walk-off home run in the 12th inning.
At the end of the 1978 season, Tiant signed as a free agent with the Yankees. Tiant compiled a 21–17 record in New York over two seasons from 1979-80. Just after signing with the Yankees, Tiant did a television commercial for Colonial Brand Yankee Franks. The commercial ended with Tiant, in his thick Cuban accent saying, "It's great to be with a wiener (winner)." It was never made completely clear if he meant "wiener" or "winner".
He also excelled in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League in parts of five seasons spanning 1966–1982, while collecting 37 victories, 29 complete games, a 2.27 ERA, and a no-hitter in 1971. He gained induction into the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009.
Tiant finished his career with brief stints for the Pirates in 1981 (9 games, 2–5, 3.92 ERA) and Angels in 1982 (6 games, 2–2, 5.76 ERA).
Tiant was a minor league pitching coach in the Los Angeles Dodgers' farm system from 1992 to 1995, and in the Chicago White Sox' farm system in 1997. During the 1996 Summer Olympics, he was the pitching coach for the Nicaraguan team.
Tiant served as the head coach for the baseball team at the Savannah College of Art and Design, an NCAA Division III program, from 1998 to 2001, where he posted a record of 55–97 for a .366 winning percentage.
Tiant was on the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum ballot from 1988 to 2002, but never received more than the 30.9% of the votes he received in his first ballot year. According to election rules at the time, players were permitted on the ballot for a maximum of 15 years. He was selected for consideration on the Golden Era Committee ballots in 2011 and 2014, and by the Modern Era Baseball Committee in 2017, but again was not elected. Tiant's career statistics are quite similar to Catfish Hunter, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1987—it has been noted that Tiant, who retired three years after Hunter, faced stronger competition on the Hall of Fame ballot. Tiant has stated that he does not want his family to attend the induction ceremony if he is voted in posthumously.
Tiant was inducted to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame on September 8, 1997, and was also inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame, and the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
An avid cigar smoker, Tiant launched a line of cigars that he formulated and designed, branding them with his nickname, El Tiante.
Tiant has authored two autobiographies:
Tiant appeared in an episode of Cheers, "Now Pitching, Sam Malone", which first aired on January 6, 1983. Sam Malone, a former relief pitcher, agrees to do TV commercials; in the first one, he co-stars with and "relieves" Tiant when the latter begins to fail in the commercial.
Tiant is the subject of the documentary film The Lost Son of Havana, produced by Kris Meyer and the Farrelly brothers, and directed by Jonathan Hock. It had its world premiere on April 23, 2009, at the Tribeca Film Festival, and was promptly acquired by ESPN Films.
The 1968 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 39th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball.
The game was held on July 9, 1968, at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas the home of the Houston Astros of the National League, making this the first All-Star Game to be played indoors. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 1–0. It is the only All-Star Game ever played without a run batted in (RBI).
This was the first night All-Star Game since 1944. Apart from the 1969 game (which was originally scheduled to be played at night but was postponed to the following afternoon due to rain), all subsequent All-Star Games have been played at night.1968 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1968 throughout the world.1970 Cleveland Indians season
The 1970 Cleveland Indians season was the 70th season for the franchise. The club finished in fifth place in the American League East with a record of 76 wins and 86 losses.1971 Atlanta Braves season
The 1971 Atlanta Braves season was the sixth season in Atlanta along with the 101st season as a franchise overall.1971 Boston Red Sox season
The 1971 Boston Red Sox season was the 71st season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished third in the American League East with a record of 85 wins and 77 losses, 18 games behind the Baltimore Orioles, who went on to win the AL championship.1973 Boston Red Sox season
The 1973 Boston Red Sox season was the 73rd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League East with a record of 89 wins and 73 losses, eight games behind the Baltimore Orioles.1974 Boston Red Sox season
The 1974 Boston Red Sox season was the 74th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished third in the American League East with a record of 84 wins and 78 losses, seven games behind the Baltimore Orioles.1974 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1974 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 45th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 23, 1974, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 7–2.
This marked the third time the Pirates had been host for the All-Star Game (the first two having been in 1944 and the first game in 1959). This would be the first of two times that the game would be played at Three Rivers Stadium, with the stadium hosting again in 1994.1975 Boston Red Sox season
The 1975 Boston Red Sox season was the 75th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished first in the American League East with a record of 95 wins and 65 losses. Following a sweep of the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS, the Red Sox lost the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in seven games. In their 4 losses in the World Series, they had at least a one run lead in each game, only to let the Reds come back and win all 4, spoiling the Sox's chances at winning the World Series for the first time since 1918, which would have ended the Curse of the Bambino. In game 7, the Red Sox had a 3-0 lead at one point, but the Reds rallied back to spoil the Red Sox chances of a major upset.1975 World Series
The 1975 World Series of Major League Baseball was played between the Boston Red Sox (AL) and Cincinnati Reds (NL). In 2003, it was ranked by ESPN as the second-greatest World Series ever played. Cincinnati won the series in seven games.
The Cincinnati Reds recorded a franchise-high 108 victories and won the National League West division by 20 games over the Los Angeles Dodgers then defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, three games to none, in the National League Championship Series. The Boston Red Sox won the American League East division by 4½ games over the Baltimore Orioles then defeated the three-time defending World Series champion Oakland A's, three games to none, in the American League Championship Series.
Boston star left fielder Jim Rice missed both the ALCS and the World Series due to a broken hand.
The Reds won the seventh and deciding game of the series on a ninth-inning RBI single by Joe Morgan. The sixth game of the Series was a 12-inning classic at Boston's Fenway Park culminated by a game-winning home run by Carlton Fisk to extend the series to seven games.
It was the third World Series appearance by the Reds in six years, losing in 1970 to Baltimore and in 1972 to Oakland.
Oddly, this was the fourth consecutive time that a seven-game series winner (Pittsburgh 1971, Oakland 1972, Oakland 1973, Cincinnati 1975) scored fewer runs than the losing team.1976 Boston Red Sox season
The 1976 Boston Red Sox season was the 76th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished third in the American League East with a record of 83 wins and 79 losses, 15½ games behind the New York Yankees.
The Red Sox did not come close to repeating the previous year's success. An off-season contract dispute with Fred Lynn was a distraction. In early May, a brawl with the New York Yankees led to a shoulder injury for Bill Lee, one of their best pitchers and a 17-game winner in 1975; Lee would be out until mid-1977, and his loss was keenly felt. The Red Sox' beloved owner, Tom Yawkey, died of leukemia in July. Manager Darrell Johnson was fired shortly thereafter, and replaced by coach Don Zimmer. Overall, it was a disappointing season for a talented but underachieving team.1982 California Angels season
The California Angels 1982 season involved the Angels finishing 1st in the American League west with a record of 93 wins and 69 losses.Black Aces
The Black Aces are a group of black pitchers who have won at least 20 Major League Baseball games in a single season. The term comes from the title of a book written by former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Mudcat Grant, one of the members of the group.In the first years after the desegregation of MLB, teams who drafted African American pitchers often converted them into position players; few were allowed to continue pitching. Grant is the first African American 20-game winner in American League history. Two members of the Black Aces, Bob Gibson and Ferguson Jenkins, are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The group has organized formally to promote their successes and encourage the development of future black players.Some black pitchers from Latin America, notably Luis Tiant, have expressed disappointment that they are not included in this group. Meanwhile, Ferguson Jenkins is a Black Canadian, although he can trace his ancestry on his mother's side to escaped U.S. slaves.Burlington Athletic Stadium
Burlington Athletic Stadium (former Godfrey Schmieder Field) is a vintage baseball stadium in the central North Carolina Piedmont city of Burlington. It seats 3500 and serves as home field for the minor league Burlington Royals of the rookie Appalachian League. Originally built in Danville, Virginia, it was purchased in 1959 for $5,000 after the Danville Leafs team folded. After being dismantled in Danville, hauled to its present location and reconstructed, it was ready for baseball again in 1960.The ballpark was known historically as Fairchild Stadium after the adjacent Fairchild Park city recreation area and nearby World War II Fairchild Aircraft manufacturing plant. It played host to many games in the legendary original Carolina League, and appears momentarily in Ron Shelton's 1988 film homage to the minors, "Bull Durham." Current Major League Baseball stars who played for the Burlington Indians include CC Sabathia, the New York Yankees (and, formerly the Cleveland Indians) pitcher who won the 2007 Cy Young Award, Bartolo Colón, the Los Angeles Angels pitcher who won the 2005 Cy Young Award, and Manny Ramírez, Most Valuable Player in the Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series championship. Historic greats who once made Fairchild Stadium their home field include another Red Sox legend, Luis Tiant, and longtime New York Yankees pitcher and coach Mel Stottlemyre. Also, Cleveland Indians player Jim Thome played for the Burlington Indians.
The park was also the site of the eight-hour and 15-minute, 27-inning marathon between the Burlington Indians and Bluefield Orioles on June 24–25, 1988. The WBBB-AM radio play-by-play call of that game by Indians' announcer Richard Musterer stands as the longest continuous single-game solo broadcast in baseball history.Cleveland Indians award winners and league leaders
This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Cleveland Indians professional baseball team.Horseshoe moustache
A horseshoe moustache, also known as a biker moustache, is a full moustache with vertical extensions grown on the corners of the lips and down the sides of the mouth to the jawline, resembling an upside-down U or a horseshoe. The whiskers grown along the sides of the mouth in the horseshoe are sometimes referred to as "pipes".
The horseshoe should not be confused with the Fu Manchu, which is grown only from the upper lip while the sides remain shaven.Luis Tiant Sr.
Luis Eleuterio Tiant Bravo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlwis ˈtjant]) (August 27, 1906 – December 10, 1976) was a pitcher in Negro league baseball, as well as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. He also performed with barnstorming teams.
Tiant's career extended from 1926 through 1948. In the Negro Leagues, he played for the Havana Red Sox, Cuban Stars West and New York Cubans, between 1928 and 1947.Tiant featured a screwball. Bill James and Rob Neyer ranked it the seventh-best screwball of all time.Tiant's son, Luis Clemente Tiant, was a major league starting pitcher from 1964 to 1982. In August 1975, the elder Tiant and his wife were granted permission by Cuban leader Fidel Castro to visit the United States, so they could watch their son pitch in the major leagues. The Tiants' visit to the US is featured in the 2009 documentary film about their son, The Lost Son of Havana. The Tiants remained in the US, and the elder Luis Tiant died 16 months later in Milton, Massachusetts. He was often referred to as "Luis Tiant Sr." by contemporary press to differentiate him from his son.Ted Uhlaender
Theodore Otto Uhlaender (October 21, 1939 – February 12, 2009) was a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds from 1965–1972. He was also the father of Olympic women's skeleton competitor Katie Uhlaender.Signed by the Twins out of Baylor University in 1961, he made his major league debut four years later. He was ineligible for the 1965 World Series because his promotion occurred after the August 31 deadline. He became the team's starting center fielder for the next four seasons. Despite the 1968 campaign being totally dominated by pitchers, he managed to finish with a .283 batting average, fifth in the American League . He followed that up with his most productive season, establishing career highs with 152 games played, 93 runs scored, 151 hits and 62 runs batted in (RBI). His first playoff experience was in the 1969 American League Championship Series, with one hit in six at-bats.
He was traded along with Graig Nettles, Dean Chance and Bob Miller to the Indians for Luis Tiant and Stan Williams on December 10, 1969. He started in center in 1970, before being shifted to left field the next season.
After he was acquired by the Reds for Milt Wilcox on December 6, 1971, Uhlaender spent his last year as a player in the majors strictly as a reserve outfielder. He served as a pinch hitter during the postseason, going 1-for-2 in the National League Championship Series and getting a double out of four at-bats in the 1972 World Series.
Years after his playing career ended, Uhlaender returned to the Indians in 2000, spending two seasons as the first-base coach under manager Charlie Manuel. He was a scout for the San Francisco Giants from 2002 until learning he had multiple myeloma in 2008.Uhlaender died of a heart attack at his ranch in Atwood, Kansas on February 12, 2009, just before his daughter Katie finished second in the women's skeleton World Cup season finale at Utah Olympic Park. Uhlaender's wife, Karen, stated that Katie did not know he had died until after the competition was finished. In memory of her father, she wears around her neck his ring from the 1972 Cincinnati Reds season in which the Reds won the National League pennant.Tommie Reynolds
Tommie D. Reynolds (born August 15, 1941) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. He was signed by the Kansas City Athletics as an amateur free agent in 1963, and played for them from 1963 to 1965. He also played for the New York Mets (1967), Oakland Athletics (1969), California Angels (1970–1971), and Milwaukee Brewers (1972).
An average defensive outfielder, Reynolds started in almost half of his team's games in both 1965 and 1969, usually in left field. He was also used quite often as a pinch hitter throughout his career. His busiest and best season was 1969, when he played in 107 games and made 363 plate appearances for Oakland. He batted .257 with 2 home runs, 20 RBI, and 51 runs scored.
Career highlights include:
a pair of 4-hit games...three singles and a double vs. the Cleveland Indians (September 2, 1965), and three singles and a double vs. the Detroit Tigers (August 26, 1969)
eight 3-hit games, with four of them coming in 1970
one 4-RBI game, including a three-run homer against All-Star Mickey Lolich of the Detroit Tigers (April 30, 1964)
a pinch hit home run against All-Star Luis Tiant of the Cleveland Indians (May 30, 1969)
hit a combined .424 (36-for-85) against All-Stars Hank Aguirre, Mickey Lolich, Sam McDowell, and Juan PizarroHis career totals include 513 games played, 265 hits, 12 home runs, 87 RBI, 141 runs scored, and a lifetime batting average of .226.
After his playing career was over, Reynolds served as a coach for the Oakland Athletics (1989–1995) and the St. Louis Cardinals (1996).
Members of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame