Tiant, Luis Clemente

Tiant, Luis Clemente

Luis Clemente Tiant was born on November 23, 1940 in Marianao, Cuba.  He 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.

His father, Luis Tiant Sr., 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.  Tiant followed his father’s footsteps from 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.  In the summer of 1961, under Avila’s recommendation, Cleveland purchased Tiant’s contract for $35,000.  He debuted in the major leagues for the Indians on July 19, 1964.

Tiant compiled a 229–172 record with 2416 strikeouts, a 3.30 ERA, 187 complete games, and 49 shutouts in ​3486 13 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, the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame in 2002, the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009, and the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals in 2012.

Since 2002, Tiant has been a resident of Southborough, Massachusetts.

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