The acclaimed documentary on Luis Tiant — Lost Son of Havana — screens tonight on ESPN at 10 p.m.
Here's our film editor's short review:
The Lost Son of Havana (US, 2009) Former big-league hurler Luis Tiant is the subject of this terrific documentary directed by Jonathan Hock. Tiant, one of the first Cubans to play in the majors, came into the league with the Cleveland Indians. He had a stellar career that found him notching over 20 wins in 1968 and winning a couple of World Series games for the Boston Red Sox, throwing an astonishing 173 pitches in one of the wins. The film follows Tiant as he returns to Havana for the first time in 36 years, visiting old friends and stopping at the playground where he first learned to play ball as he tries to make peace with his past. An affable character who’s always chomping on a cigar, Tiant is a great subject as he’s both kind and colorful, openly sharing old baseball stories and family memories. Stick around for the end credits where you can see Tiant hamming it up with present-day major league players. (***1/2)— Jeff Niesel
And from the Wall Street Journal, a much, much lengthier review can be found here.
Luis Tiant is probably best known for his time in Boston, but Tiant, of course, started his career in Cleveland, playing for the Tribe from 1964 to 1969. He also had what was arguably the best season of his career as a Wahoo in 1968, going 21-9, with a 1.60 ERA, a 186 ERA+, a minuscule 0.871 WHIP, 9 shutouts, and 264 strikeouts. He came in fifth in the MVP voting and lost the Cy Young to Denny McLain (who also won the MVP in 1968 for his ridiculous year.)