Will Monday be a day of Fame for Tiant?


Will Monday be a day of Fame for Tiant?

DALLAS -- After failing to be elected in balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America, former Red Sox pitching great Luis Tiant will get another shot at making the Hall of Fame Monday morning when the results of voting by the Golden Era Committee are announced.

Tiant is one of ten names on the ballot -- eight players and two executives -- whose "most significant career impact was realized during the 1947-72 time period," according to the Hall of Fame.

Successful candidates must be named on 75 percent of the 16 ballots cast.

Tiant had four 20-win seasons in his 19 years in the big leagues, spent with the Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Red Sox, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates and California Angels.

He retired with a 229-172 record with a .571 winning percentage and a 3.30 ERA. He was selected to three All-Star games and twice led the American League in ERA while leading the league in shutouts three times.

Tiant's career has often been favorably compared to Jim "Catfish" Hunter, both in terms of career statistics -- Hunter was 224-166 with a .574 winning percentage and a 3.26 ERA -- and their ability to pitch best in big games.

Hunter was elected to Cooperstown in 1987 and passed away in 1999. Tiant, meanwhile, never got enough votes from the BBWAA and was dropped from the ballot.

Red Sox vice president and team historian Dick Bresciani, who is credited with helping Jim Rice get elected in his final year of ballot eligibility, has sent packets of statistical information on Tiant to the 16 voters, highlighting his achievements.

Among other facts, Bresciani has noted:

Tiant was 57-25 (a .675 winning percentage) with a 2.74 in games in September and October.

Tiant has more career wins than 26 other Hall of Fame starting pitchers and a better winning percentage than 26 Hall of Famers.

Of the top 25 career shutout leaders, Tiant (tied for for 21st with 49) is the only one not in the Hall of Fame., who is tied for 21st.

His 49 shutouts are more than 46 Hall of Fame pitchers.

Tiant and Hall of Famer Walter Johnson are the only major league pitchers with two streaks of 40-plus consecutive innings.

Tiant is the only American League pitcher of the last 65 years to post two sub-2.00 ERA seasons. He led the A.L. with a 1.60 ERA in 1968 for Cleveland and a 1.91 ERA in 1972 while with the Red Sox.

Though he never won a Cy Young Award, Tiant finished in the top six in voting three times and was in the top eight in AL MVP voting twice. He also finished in the top eight of strikeouts leaders four times; in the top 10 in strikeouts five times; in the top eight of complete games six times; and in the top nine in shutouts seven

From 1972-1976, Tiant averaged more than 19 wins per season (96-58, .625) with 97 complete games.

Tiant faces stiff competition on this ballot. Other candidates are: Buzzie Bavasi, Ken Boyer, Charlie Finley, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Allie Reynolds, and Ron Santo.

Next year's induction will take place on July 22 at Cooperstown. Results of the 2012 BBWAA election will be announced on Jan. 9.

NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945


NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton KershawAnthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.