Sunday, July 21, 2013
Sunday Night Baseball: 1975 Topps #430 Luis Tiant
Tonight we take a look at 1970s era BoSox pitcher Luis Tiant.
1975 Topps #430 Luis Tiant
El Tiante is one of the memorable characters from my baseball fan youth. From the mound he had a distinct delivery where he turned his back to the plate during his windup. He won 3 games during the Red Sox memorable 1975 postseason - The start he didn't win was Game 6 of the World Series (the Carlton Fisk Game)
Luis Tiant falls into the borderline HoF category. Hist career pitchers WAR of 66.1 ranks 40th all-time. That puts him ahead of Bob Feller, Juan Marichal, Jim Bunning, Don Drysdale and Mariano Rivera. Critical points here are that Feller lost 3 years to military service and he and Drysdale both have World Series rings. The Marichal and Bunning comps legitimize Tiants resume a bit more.
He had a 19 year career that extended well beyond his Boston years. His 6 years with Cleveland included an impressive 1968 season (21-9, 1.60 ERA) that was overshadowed by Denny McLain's 31 wins. His Boston peak came during a 5 year period from 1972-76 when he won 96 games. In 1974 Tiant went 22-13 with a league leading 7 shutouts. He finished his 19 seasons with 229 victories and 2400+ Ks.
Between 1971 and 1973 Topps made several attempts at action shots with very mixed results. The 1972 Topps In Action "parallels" are particularly.....odd. The late Chris Stufflestreet had an entire blog dedicated to 1973 Topps photography which had a lot of great action shots and some more mediocre.
In 1974 the results were much better and by 1975 the results are pretty acceptable. The above #430 Tiant card is among the finest examples. If there is a complaint, I would say that it is that the pix is very white, Tiant's uniform blends into the crowd a bit, but that is a minor complaint.
1975 Topps commons can sometimes be found in dime boxes. This card is in very good condition, and even though Luis Tiant is in the near HoF category I don't see this card going for over a quarter.
1975 Topps Blog (Night Owl Cards) - #430 Luis Tiant - This is as fine a love letter as you will find to this card.