Boston sports have a collection of legends and among them is right-hander Luis Tiant who the Red Sox should have given up on. Tiant was spectacular with Cleveland in 1968 going 21-9 and leading American League hurlers with a 1.60 ERA. The following season, Tiant accomplished a remarkable feat and lost 20 games, but still produced a 3.71 ERA. Then he started the road to Boston.
The first step was a trade to the Twins followed by a release and signing by Atlanta only to be released after one month. The Red Sox took a chance and signed Tiant, who did nothing, going just 1-7 in a dual role of rotation and bullpen for a third-place team. They kept Tiant. An aging pitcher who apparently lost it.
In 1972, the magic was back and El Tiante won 15 games and again led the league with a sparkling 1.91 ERA. The dividends kept coming with three 20 game seasons and a spectacular 173-pitch complete game in the World Series against the Reds. Tiant concluded his eight Boston seasons with a 122-81 record and 3-0 in the 1975 playoffs/World Series.
Tiant is one of many pitchers who returned from the baseball dead to resuscitate a career thought long gone. An example of why a veteran with previously established credentials will continue to get employment opportunities. Exactly why Boston signed Bret Saberhagen. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not such as John Smoltz.