Along with Dwight Evans, I’ve already written about how Luis Tiant deserves to be in Cooperstown and it’s mainly because of the numbers he put up in a Red Sox uniform in the 1970s. Acquired in a minor league trade with the Braves in 1971, Tiant blossomed in 1972 and spent until 1979 with the Red Sox, becoming one of their best and most popular pitchers not only of the 1970s, but of all time.
Between 1971 and 1978, Tiant compiled a 122-81 record with a 3.49 ERA and 1115 strikeouts. He won 20 games or more three times in the decade (1973, 1974, 1976) and 18 in the pennant-winning 1975 season. He also led the entire league in ERA in 1972 with a 1.91 mark. As good as he was in the regular season, he was even better in the postseason, going 1-0 in the 1975 ALCS and 2-0 in the 1975 World Series.
Tiant was also one of the most colorful and fan-favorite players the team had in the 1970s, or ever. His career numbers compare extremely closely to Catfish Hunter, a pitcher from the rival Yankees who was inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Red Sox fans continue to push for his induction. Regardless of whether he gets in or not, there’s no denying that he was one of the greatest pitchers in Red Sox history and a core member of the 1970s teams.