Thursday, September 20, 2012
no. 95 - luis tiant
Who is the man: Luis Tiant was at the crossroads of his career when this card came out of packs in 1971. Tiant broke his right shoulder blade while making a start in May 1970 and missed the rest of the season. He was released by the Twins in spring training of '71 (he was picked up by the Red Sox in mid-season but did so poorly he didn't even get a card in the 1972 Topps set).
Can ya dig it: Tiant looks so grumpy in his early cards. I think it's because he didn't have the fu manchu going until the 1973 season. That lightened him up a little.
Right on: Seeing Tiant in anything other than a Red Sox uniform is plain strange.
You see this cat Tiant is a bad mother: Tiant created his own brand of cigars, called "El Tiante cigars, after his nickname. I can't think of anything badder.
Shut your mouth: When the Baltimore Orioles went to Cuba to play a couple of exhibition games against the Cuban National Team in 1999, Tiant was not happy. "We should never forget what has happened to the people in Cuba for 40 years. All baseball cares about is getting players out of Cuba. It doesn't care about the suffering, just money. The Orioles shouldn't have gone to Cuba."
No one understands him but his woman: Tiant began his American baseball career in the minor leagues in Charleston, S.C. "I couldn't speak very good English, but I understand racism," he said.
(A word about the back): Tiant's Mexico City home came about because he began his pro career with the Mexico City Tigers in 1961 before being signed by the Indians.