Monday, December 5, 2011

DAHOF Top 100 -- #94 Luis Tiant

Continuing the series of posts featuring my favorite top 100 ballplayers of all-time.

I blogged about Luis Tiant just last week.

To me, the story of the Luis Tiant's great career is about perseverance and passion. Any number of times Tiant could have quit after suffering career threatening injuries - but he did not. He just kept working to reinvent himself as a pitcher. Very impressive and inspiring for anyone looking for motivation.

The 1975 World Series is the best and most celebrated in my lifetime. My most vivid memories of Luis Tiant all stem from that memorable fall classic. On the grandest stage baseball has ever produced, his star shined as bright as any of the five hall of famers that played (Seven if you want to count Sparky and the disabled Jim Rice... eight if you consider Pete Rose).

All seven games of the 1975 World Series are available on DVD. I added them to my netflix queue a couple of years ago, and other than listening to my wife ask me repeatedly why I was watching a bunch of baseball games that occurred 30+ years ago... it was quite a kick to watch it again. Carlton Fisk and the incredible drama of Game #6 deservedly get most of the attention when people talk about the series, but Tiant's performance in Game #1 is nothing short of magical. If you have never seen it, watch it.

On good days, I can still mimic his bizarre pitching motion that included, in the middle of his wind-up, him looking straight at second base. Truth be told, I actually have struck out thousands of pretend hitters over years with nothing more than that wonderful hocus-pocus motion. There really is nothing like El Tiante.


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