Roger Angell on Luis Tiant

Luis Tiant turns 74 years old today. So I thought I’d share this description of his ability to kill time on the mound, by Roger Angell in Five Seasons.

Game then runs down, stops, dies, thanks to Luis Tiant, Bost. pitcher. Tiant, noted for odd pitching mannerisms, is also a famous mound dawdler. Stands on hill like sunstruck archeologist at Knossos. Regards ruins. Studies sun. Studies landscape. Looks at artifact in hand. Wonders: Keep this potsherd or throw it away? Does Smithsonian want it? Hmm. Prepares to throw it away. Pauses. Sudd. discovers writing on object. Hmm. Possible Linear B inscript.? Sighs. Decides. Throws. Wipes face. Repeats whole thing. Innings & hours creep by. Spectators clap, yawn, droop, expire. In stands, 57 disloc. jaws set new modern AL record, single game. Somebody wins game in end, can’t remember who.

The book covers the 1972-1976 seasons, and this particular description comes from a Red Sox/White Sox game on June 7, 1972. The actual game is of little importance to the quote above, but it should be noted that this 2-1 White Sox victory finished in just 2 hours and 42 minutes. Maybe because Tiant only pitched five innings.