Tiant again falls short of Hall of Fame election

Tiant again falls short of Hall of Fame election
December 5, 2011, 4:48 pm
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DALLAS -- Former Red Sox ace Luis Tiant fell far short of election to the Hall of Fame Monday when the Veterans Committe's voting was announced for the Class of 2012.

The committee, choosing from 10 candidates on the final ballot from the Golden Era (1947-1972), elected former Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo.

"Very surprised. Very surprised," said Juan Marichal, a Hall of Fame pitcher and one-time teammate of Tiant. "All the 10 candidates deserve to be in. But the system, you only can vote for four, and Ron Santo got the majority of the votes, 90-plus percent. But maybe next year, I hope. Id like to see Luis in there. A great human being, and a great pitcher."

Santo, who was elected nearly a year to the day of his passing, received 15 of the 16 committee votes. Twelve or 75 percent were needed for election.

Santo hit .277 with 342 homers and 1,331 RBI over his 15 year career. He also won four Gold Gloves and becomes the 15th third baseman elected to Cooperstown.

Tiant, meanwhile, was among a group who received fewer than three votes. Jim Kaat, who won 280 games over his career, was next in voting with 10 votes. Minnie Minoso and Gil Hodges each had nine votes.

Tiant spent 8 of his 19 seasons with the Red Sox. In his career, he went 229172 with a 3.30 ERA, pitching 49 complete game shutouts. On the Red Sox all-time list, he is fifth in wins and strikeouts and fourth in innings pitched.

He went 219 with a 1.60 ERA in 1968 with the Indians and posted a 1.91 ERA while going 156 with the Red Sox in 1972.

"I love Luis," said Brooks Robinson, a Hall of Fame third baseman. "Hes a guy who Minoso, all those guys, they all had credentials to be in the Hall of Fame. Luis just to see his career, he pitched so great and then he had some arm problems and then he came back and won 20 games a couple of years in a row. Its just hard when you have to vote for four. Its just hard, somebodys going to get left out."

The committee for the Golden Era isn't scheduled to vote again for another three years.