Luis Tiant – No. 23
While he only spent eight years in Boston and didn’t finish his career here, Luis Tiant will mostly be remembered for his days in a Red Sox uniform.
Tiant won 122 games during his Red Sox career, fifth most in franchise history, while posting a 3.49 ERA. He finished in the top-6 in Cy Young voting three times during his time in Boston, including the 1972 season in which he led the league with a sparkling 1.91 ERA. Tiant somehow finished only 6th in the voting that year, despite finishing 8th in MVP voting.
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One of the more remarkable feats of Tiant’s career was his ability to carry a heavy workload. During one four year stretch with the Red Sox, Tiant threw at least 260 innings in each season, including one in ’74 in which he tossed an almost unfathomable 311.1 innings. His 1774.2 innings with the Red Sox are the fourth most in team history. Tiant threw 187 complete games in his career, 113 of which came during his time with the Red Sox.
The case for retiring Tiant’s number can be made primarily based on what he accomplished as part of the 1975 team that made it to the World Series. Tiant was 3-0 with a 2.64 ERA in the postseason that year, hurling a complete game in three of his four starts. The Red Sox may have ultimately fallen short to Cincinnati in the World Series, but not before Tiant stamped his legacy with his outstanding performance.
Next: Dwight Evans