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Tiant falls short again of Hall recognition

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  December 5, 2011 10:40 AM

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DALLAS - Former Red Sox great Luis Tiant was not selected for induction into the Hall of Fame by the Golden Era Committee which announced its vote moments ago.

The committee chose nine-time All-Star Ron Santo, the former Cubs third base great.

He played 14 seasons with the Cubs and one season with the White Sox.

There were 10 candidates and 12 votes were needed of the 16 votes for induction (75 percent). There were eight former players and two executives on the committee.

The committee selects players, executives and baseball contributors who have not been previously selected by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The players would have been on the regular BBWAA ballot for 15 years, so this is a "second-look" at those players and their accomplishments.

Sox historian Dick Bresciani put together an impressive statistical package in support Tiant’s candidacy in advance of this morning's announcement.

Tiant went 229-172 (.571) with a 3.30 ERA in 19 years. He had four 20-win seasons. He was 57-25 (.675) in September and October, 55-36 from 1971-1978 after a Red Sox loss, He had more wins and a higher winning percentage than 26 Hall of Famers.

He has more career shutouts (49) than 46 Hall of Famers. The only other pitcher with two streaks of 40-plus consecutive scoreless innings was Walter Johnson.

In 1968,Tiant went 21-9 with a 1.60 ERA, 9 shutouts, 5.295 H/9 IP (2nd best in ML history to Nolan Ryan’s 5.261 in ’72), .168 batting average against. Tiant won two A.L. ERA titles: in ’68 (1.60, best in A.L. since 1919) and in ’72 (1.91, at the time was the best for Red Sox since 1917). He is the only A.L. pitcher in the past 65 years to post two seasons with a sub-2.00 ERA.

Tiant received less than three votes. Jim Kaat received 10 votes, while Gil Hodges and Minnie Minoso received nine each. Tony Oliva received eight votes.

One of the committee members, Hall of Famer Juan Marichal, said, "I played with Luis in 1974 (with the Red Sox). he was awesome. He's another guy who gave you 150 percent. I was very sad that he hasn't been able to get in. It's too bad."

Yankee executive Gene Michael said, "I faced Luis and he was tough believe me. We had very good discussions on every player and they're all deserving but Ron Santo really stuck out for us."

Brooks Robinson, another committee person, faced Tiant a lot. "I owned him," Robinson kidded. "I'd kill him with those bloopers to right field. Anyone who would turn their behind to your when he delivered the ball, I didn't like to face."

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