Sent: 11/13/2020 | Received: 11/20/2020 | 7 days
1/1: 1982 Topps
Address: Home (Wells, ME via SportsCollectors.Net)
Best known for his time toeing the slab for the Indians and the Red Sox, the Cuban-born Tiant won 229 games and had a 3.30 ERA over 19 MLB seasons. He maxed out at 30.9% of the of the writers vote during his 15 years on the Hall of Fame ballot. He has since been overlooked by the Golden Era Committee twice (2012 and 2015) as well as the Modern Era Committee (2018).
Tiant was a three-time All-Star (1968, 1974, 1976) and two-time American League ERA leader (1968, 1972).
He tremendously hurt his own chances of enshrinement by pitching as long as he did. Tiant didn’t hang up his spikes until after the 1981 (age 41) season. His 12-15 record and 4.76 ERA from 1979 onward (a period that included this slab of signed cardboard) weren’t disqualifying. Rather it hurt his timing.
Consider his most commonly cited comparable: Catfish Hunter who retired three years earlier.
Tiant: 217-156, 3.21 ERA, 118 ERA+, 2,270 Ks, 1,027 BBs
Hunter:224-166, 3.26 ERA, 104 ERA+, 2,012 Ks, 954 BBs
However, by delaying his eligibility, Tiant had to share ballot space with the likes of Gaylord Perry, Ferguson Jenkins, Jim Kaat, Jim Palmer, Tom Seaver, Phil Niekro, Steve Carlton and Don Sutton. The bar was set significantly higher.