Tiant signed with the Boston Red Sox Triple A affiliate in 1971 and was promoted to the Red Sox.
Despite struggling with a 1-7 record, 4.88 ERA as a rookie, Tiant would soon become one of the greatest pitchers in Red Sox history and an idol in Boston.
Starting to be known as "El Tiante" in Boston, Tiant re-discovered his magic and went 15-6 with a 1.91 ERA in 1972 -- an American League best in ERA.
Luis would win at least twenty games for Boston for three of the next four seasons, going 20-13 in 1973, 22-13 in 1974, and 21-12 in 1976. Though hampered by back problems in 1975, Tiant won 18 games for the American League Champion Red Sox and then excelled for Boston in the postseason. Tiant's success in 1975 was made all the sweeter when he was reunited with his mother and father, who were allowed to visit from Cuba under a special visa.
Known for his style and charisma as much as for his great pitching, Tiant became very popular in Boston. His fu manchu mustache, hearty smile and penchant for smoking cigars, made Tiant recognizable, but it was his classic wind-up and delivery that had kids imitating him throughout New England. Twisting and turning his body into unthinkable positions, Louie would spend more time looking at second base than he did the plate as he prepared to throw.
When Tiant did throw to the plate he baffled hitters with a wide assortment of pitches. In the 1970's, "El Tiante" won 142 games during the regular season and averaged 15 wins a year. He was even better in the post-season. In game one of the American League Championship Series against Oakland Tiant pitched a complete game three hitter, in the 7-1 Sox win.
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