Will Monday be a day of Fame for Tiant?

Will Monday be a day of Fame for Tiant?
December 5, 2011, 5:05 am
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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
times.

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.