Page 6 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, June 28, 2019 SABATINO INSURANCE AGENCY Call for a Quote 617-387-7466 Or email Rocco@sabatino-ins.com We cover: * Auto * Home * Boat * Renter * Condo * Life * Multi-Policy Discounts * Commercial 10% Discounts * Registry Service Also Available M El Tiante By the Old Sachem, Bill Stewart any of you readers never saw Luis Tiant pitch http://www.sabatino-ins.com SABATINO 564 Broadway Everett, MA 02149 617-387-7466 Hours of Operation are: Mondays - Fridays 9am to 5pm Saturdays by appointment only for our beloved Red Sox, but those who do remember a happy-go-lucky pitcher who spent his time in Boston with a smile forever on his face. Luis was born on November 23, 1940, in Marianao, Cuba. He was the son of Luis Tiant, Sr. and Isabel Vega. His story was told in collaboration with Saul Wisnia in “Son of Havana, A baseball Journey from Cuba to the Big Leagues and Back,” published by Diversion Books. 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His father was a pitcher of renown locally so the youngster followed by playing in the local Little League and juvenile baseball leagues. Eventually his talent was seen and he starred for the Cuban Juvenile League All-Star Team of Havana in 1957. Bobby Avila, a former Cleveland Indians All-Star and a scout for the team, was searching for talent in Cuba. Tiant was recommended by Avila to the Mexican City Tigers of the Mexican League and was on his way to a professional career. For the next three years he played for the Tigers and for the Havana Sugar Kings of the International League. Avila’s recommendation led to Tiant being purchased by the Cleveland Indians. Moving to Cleveland made life difficult for him. With annoyance from Fidel Castro and the invasion of the Bay of Pigs, Tiant was not to see his parents for 14 years; Castro made it impossible for those who left to return home. In 1962 he played in the Indians’ farm system with Charleston of the Eastern League. He didn’t much like Charleston. He stated, “I couldn’t speak very good English but I understood racism. They treated me like a dog.” He was upgraded to Burlington, N.C., and became one of the best pitchers in the Carolina League in 1963, then in Portland, Oregon in 1964. He acquired a 15 and 1 record with Triple-A Portland, including a no-hitter and a one-hitter in consecutive starts. He was called up by the Indians in 1964 and got his first start on July 19, hurling a 4 single, 11 strikeout and 3-0 shutout victory over the defending American League Champion New York Yankees. He beat the Yankees’ Whitey Ford in Luis’s first encounter in the big leagues. Tiant finished his rookie season with a 10 and 4 record, 105 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.83, in 19 games. He created the hesitation pitch in turning away from home plate during his motion, after altering his motion after a shoulder blade injury which slowed his velocity. Luis led the league in ERA at 1.60 and nine shutouts. This broke the record for the Indians – which still stands – 5.30 hits per 9 innings. It was also Bill Stewart The Old Sachem the Major League record until Nolan Ryan had a record 5.26 hits per 9 innings. He finished the year with a 22 and 9 record. On July 3 he struck out 19 Minnesota Twins in a teninning game in 1967. Tiant was traded to the Twins in 1970 after an injury-plagued season in 1969. He began the season with 6 wins, but then fractured his right scapula, ending his season and probably his career. He was released in 1971 after going through spring training for the Twins. The Braves signed him to a Minor League contract to play for their Triple-A Richmond, then Luis was acquired by the Boston Red Sox for their Minor League Louisville Colonels. He was called up during 1971, struggling with a 1 and 7 record and an ERA of 4.88. In 1972 he came back with a 15 and 6 record and led the league with a 1.91 ERA. He followed up with 20 wins in 1973 and 22 in 1974. He became known as “El Tiante” and began his route to a beloved hurler for the Red Sox. He was slowed down in 1975 by back problems, winning only 18 games for the AL Championship Sox. In the playoffs he defeated the three-time defending World Championship OakEL TIANTE | SEE PAGE 19

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