Luis Tiant is a Boston Red Sox legend, no matter how you spin it.
He’s also one of the best pitchers Major League Baseball has ever seen, and was one of the most dominant pitchers of the 1970s. Yet, for reasons unexplainable, he’s not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Tiant, a member of the incredible 1975 American League pennant-winning Red Sox, appeared on “Red Sox Gameday Live” with Tom Caron, Dennis Eckersley and Steve Lyons before Thursday’s game against the Rangers, which happened to be Luis Tiant bobblehead night at Fenway Park.
“You know what I’m going to have to do? I’m going to have to move to Alaska,” Tiant joked, when responding to his status outside the Hall. “Maybe they’ll put me in the Hall of Fame over there.
“It’s crazy. I don’t like talking much and I don’t want to put anybody down or point any fingers to nobody, but to me that’s a disgrace. You’re going to tell me there are 20 pitchers in the Hall of Fame that don’t have a better record than me? And the ones that have better records but only by maybe five or seven games, I have everything better than them. How did that happen? How are they there and I’m not?”
Tiant brings up an excellent point. Take a look at this comparison.
Jim Bunning and Catfish Hunter are both in the Hall, despite Tiant having the same or better numbers almost entirely across the board.
Clearly, this is an issue Tiant feels very passionately about. He went so far as to explain to Caron and Co. that if he is inducted in the Hall posthumously, he not only told his family not to go to the ceremony, but also told them not to accept the award at all.
Regardless of what the voters have said through the years, one thing is certain: All of Red Sox Nation supports Tiant’s claim to enshrinement with baseball’s immortal.
Check out the rest of Tiant’s interview with the NESN pregame crew above.
Thumbnail image via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images