Luis Tiant Tribute

Date(s) - 11/19/2020
7:00 pm-8:30 pm


November 19, 7-8:30 p.m.



We are inviting you all to join us in a birthday tribute to the beloved Luis Tiant, who will be turning 80 and will be a special guest of the Great Fenway Park Writers Series. Register by clicking above, and also leave a Birthday Greeting for our guest of honor on our virtual birthday card.

In addition to celebrating the life and legacy of El Tiante, we will also be presenting discussions of two books: Luis’ autobiography, co-written by Saul Wisnia, entitled “Son of Havana: A Baseball Journey from Cuba to the Big Leagues and Back,” and a fascinating look at the life of another Cuban legend, Isabel “Lefty” Alvarez, in a biography written by Kat D. Williams: “Isabel “Lefty” Alvarez: The Improbable Life of a Cuban American Baseball Star.”

The Great Fenway Park Writers Series would like to encourage you to make use of the great local bookstores in your community! For this event, we have partnered with Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury.


If you don’t live in Boston, you might consider looking for an independent bookstore closer to home.

*Donations to the Red Sox Foundation are Encouraged

Reviews and About the Author

Son of Havana

“The Luis Tiant story has always been begging to be told in full, and now it has. In collaboration with Saul Wisnia, the ebullient righthander has let us learn about his life in Son of Havana…. It was a career (229-172, 3.30, 49 shutouts) and life well-led, and it should have culminated with him giving an acceptance speech on a July Sunday in Cooperstown a long time ago…Meanwhile, he has a great story to tell. You’ll like it.” ―Bob Ryan, Boston Globe

“I have said it before and I’ll always say it: If you wanted one person to start a big game, it would be Luis Tiant. Nobody was a tougher competitor―or a better teammate. He meant so much to us, and to the fans. We all loved him.” ―Carl Yastrzemski, from the Foreword

“Luis is a legend, someone we respect and someone we look up to. It’s hard to imagine, when you look at him, so many things he did that were great for baseball, in his time.” ―Pedro Martinez

“All of a sudden people who had given up on them―they’re riding the crest. It was clearly Luis Tiant’s wave. I remember a friend of mine who lived about three blocks away, talking about leaving the window open in his apartment and hearing the entire crowd chanting, ‘LOO-EEE! LOO-EEE!’ across the fence. . . . It was such a resurrection story of a career coming back. This man who was so proud and so great and lost his career―was almost out of baseball―he was theater unto himself. Yaz was great, Fisk was great, but they didn’t chant for them―and you couldn’t hear it blocks away.” ―Peter Gammons

“A lively memoir…[that] recounts his colorful, bittersweet life on the mound and beyond.” ―Washington Post

“If you are a baseball fan…you will find much that is thrilling and much that is uplifting in Luis Tiant’s story…The writing style has the sort of punch that fans of big-league sports will like…An impressive memoir…The truly interesting story here for non-baseball fans is the one about an unwilling exile from his homeland who makes good despite many reverses, then returns in triumph to the place where his roots lie.” ―InfoDad blog

About the Author

Luis Tiant has won more games than any other Cuban-born pitcher in the major league history. From 1964 to 1982, he compiled 229 wins, 49 shutouts, 187 complete games, and 2,416 strikeouts. Born in Havana in 1940, the son of a legendary Negro League pitcher, he was 23 years old when he broke into the majors by shutting out the mighty Yankees―three years after leaving Cuba and being forced into exile in the aftermath of Fidel Castro’s bloody New Year’s Eve takeover in 1959. A star in the 1975 World Series for the Red Sox, Tiant’s unique windup, big-game heroics, and exuberant personality made him one of the most popular athletes in New England (and Cuban) sports history. He finally returned home to Havana in 2007, forty-six years after saying goodbye to his parents. Arguably the best 20th-century pitcher not in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Tiant divides his time between Maine, Florida, and Fenway Park.

Saul Wisnia has authored, co-authored, or otherwise contributed to numerous books on Boston and general baseball history, including Fenway Park: The Centennial and Miracle at Fenway: The Inside Story of the Boston Red Sox 2004 Championship Season. He is a former sports and news correspondent at the Washington Post and feature writer at the Boston Herald, whose essays have appeared in Sports Illustrated, the Boston GlobeRed Sox Magazine, and Boston Magazine. For the past twenty years, he has chronicled the unique relationship between the Red Sox and young cancer patients as senior publications editor-writer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Wisnia lives in his native Newton, Massachusetts.

Isabel “Lefty” Alvarez

“A very good read. It is not only about a baseball player in the AAGPBL, but also about a young Latino woman who makes good in America.”—Lance Smith, Guy Who Reviews Sports Books

“One cannot help but root for the dark-haired, left-handed 15-year-old pitcher, who came to the United States with hardly any education and no command of the language. . . . Lefty Alvarez is truly in a league of her own.”—Bob D’Angelo, Sports Bookie

“The history of baseball in Cuba is well documented, with the exception of the island’s women who played the game. Kat Williams’s nuanced examination of how baseball informed, indeed transformed, the life and prospects of Isabel “Lefty” Alvarez fills that gap. Set against an ample background on Cuban political, social, and sports history, Williams demonstrates what a love for baseball can mean to a young woman.”—Jean Hastings Ardell, author of Breaking into Baseball: Women and the National Pastime

About the Author

Kat D. Williams is a professor of American history at Marshall University. She is board president of the International Women’s Baseball Center and the author of The All-American Girls after the AAGPBL: How Playing Pro Ball Shaped Their Lives.