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NL & AL Champs

1976 Topps

Luis Clemente Tiant y Vega (November 23, 1940-) was one of the most dominant pitchers of the 1960s and 1970s, befuddling hitter after hitter with a reported six different pitches including a knuckleball and remains among the Red Sox leaders in wins (122), innings pitched (1774.2), strikeouts (1,075), complete games (113) and shutouts (26) among others. Luis was the son of famed Cuban and Negro League hurler, Luis Tiant, Sr., who also possessed a unique pirouette motion to the plate, which Luis, Jr. adopted late in his career, virtually facing second base mid-motion. In 1960, Tiant went 17-7, but rather than returning to his native Cuba at seasons’ end, political tensions created by the Castro regime forbid the young right hander from returning, so the Cleveland Indians purchased his contract. In 1964, Luis went 15-1, setting a minor league record pitching for the Portland Beavers, when the Indians called him up and he debuted with a four-hit shutout of the New York Yankees. He finished the season total line of 25-5 with a 2.42 ERA. Tiant won ten or more seasons for the next five seasons in Cleveland and led the American League in shutouts in 1966 with five and again in 1968 with nine. In 1968, he also posted a league-leading ERA (1.60), went 21-9, earned his first of three All-Star selections and finished 5th in AL MVP voting. Tiant pitched six years in Cleveland (1964-1969) before being traded to the Minnesota Twins for one season (1970) and eventually landed with the Boston Red Sox (1971-1978). Unfortunately, his start in Boston was less than successful as he went 1-7 for the 1971 season and fans were quick to dismiss the veteran. But, after adjusting his windup to accommodate for a fractured right scapula as well as some developing back pains, Tiant went 15-6 in 1972 and led the American League in ERA (1.91) once again.

He won 20 games in 1973 and 22 in 1974 to earn the trust and admiration of the Boston fans, management and most importantly his teammates, who consider him to be one of the best colleagues that they have ever played alongside. From 1971 to 1979, Luis Tiant went 122-81 for the Red Sox with 1,075 strikeouts and a 3.36 ERA. He led the AL in shutouts fir the third time in his career in 1974 with seven and finished within the top six for AL Cy Young voting three times. Sadly, because of the political issues between the US and Cuba, Luis was unable to see his family until 1975. That year, Senator George McGovern travelled to Cuba and negotiated a reunion between the pitcher and his aging parents after not seeing them for 12 years. On August 26th, Luis Tiant, Sr. threw out the first pitch at Fenway, a fastball (low-and-away), but unsatisfied with the delivery called for the ball back and lobbed a knuckleball over the heart of the plate as Boston fans stood and applauded. Tiant’s parents never returned to Cuba and passed away two days apart in 1976. Luis Tiant pitched the final four seasons of his career with the New York Yankees (1979-1980), the Pittsburgh Pirates (1981) and the California Angels (1982). Luis Tiant retired having posted a 229-172 record, 2,416 strikeouts, 187 complete games, 15 saves and 49 shutouts while adding a 3.30 ERA. He remains one of the great Boston Red Sox players and is also one of the most beloved in franchise history.  

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 GEM MT 10 (26)

Prices By Grade

1976 TOPPS 461 NL & AL CHAMPS.

Grade Most Recent Price Average Price PSA Price Population POP Higher
GEM - MT 10 $332.00 $332.00 $40.00 26
MINT 9 $38.09 $37.02 $6.00 146 26
NM - MT 8 $17.25 $3.00 136 180
NM 7 $19.95 $19.95 $2.00 15 319
EX - MT 6 9 334
EX 5 5 343
VG - EX 4 348
VG 3 348
GOOD 2 348
FR 1.5 1 348
PR 1 349
Auth 349

Auction Prices Realized

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