Sunday, January 3, 2021


This week's addition to my now long-running 1971 "Minor League Days" thread is the great Luis Tiant, arguably a Hall of Famer who was putting in one last great season in the Minors in 1964 with the Portland Beavers:

Tiant would end up with a record of 15-1 that year with the Beavers, along with a sweet 2.04 earned run average over 17 appearances and 137 innings pitched, with 154 strikeouts and 13 complete games.
On TOP of all that, he also made his Major League debut that season with the Cleveland Indians, going 10-4 with a 2.91 ERA and three shutouts in only 19 appearances, completing nine of his starts as a 23-year-old.
By the time he finished his career in 1982, 18 years later, he finished with a 229-172 record, with a 3.30 E.R.A., 49 shutouts and 2416 strikeouts, with two seasons of sub-2.00 E.R.A., four 20-win campaigns as well as three 200+ strikeout years.
As a kid in Brooklyn, New York in the late 70's I remember him with the Yankees, and always thought he looked like some cool grampa who was always cracking jokes. In other words, I loved him!
After getting 30.9% support in his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot in 1988, he never got close again to those numbers, topping out at 18.0% in his final year of eligibility in 2002.
Do I think he's a Hall of Fame pitcher? Tough call based on statistics alone. However I do feel that when you add in his personality, his long-lasting mark on the game in that time and place, he should be in.

"El Tiante"!!!



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