FRAMINGHAM – Famed Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant signed autographs at Framingham State University Saturday, May 13 as part of a partnership between the University and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
The three-hour, one-day exhibit on Latinos and Baseball: In the Barrios and the Big Leagues also brought artifacts to the University campus, including a David Ortiz bat, a Pedro Martinez baseball, and a Nomar Garciaparra signed cap.
Framingham State University is one of a half dozen Smithsonian affiliates in the Commonwealth, and the only University among them.
One of the organizers of the event was Millie Gonzalez, who said the collaboration was an opportunity for the community to learn about Latinos and their contribution to baseball.
Tiant, now 76, played for the Red Sox in the 1970s. He went 229-172, with a 3.30 earned run average over his career. Before coming to the Red Sox in 1971, he went 21-9 with a 1.60 ERA for the Indians in 1968.
Tiant, who was interviewed by Telemundo TV yesterday, told the Sporting News last month he doesn’t wish to go into the Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously.
The Southborough resident, a native of Cuba, only received 30 percent of the ballot in his first year of eligibility to the Hall of Fame.
Yesterday, he greeted fans, signed autographs, talked about the Red Sox and his career, and posed for photos.
Those who attended the event could also have digital archivists scan or photograph baseball memorabilia.
And attendees could also view memorabilia from famed Latinos in the major leagues.
Among the items on display was a 1999 All-Star game baseball signed by Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez. In that All-Star Game held at Fenway Park, Martinez, the starting pitcher, became the first to strike out the side. He struckout five of the six batters he faces earning All-Star MVP honors.
There were also David Ortiz and Ted Williams signed bats along with a 1967 World Series bat owned by Jose Santiago. He was the first Latin American to start the first game of a World Series.
Another item was a signed Manny Ramirez World Series jersey. Ramirez was part of the Red Sox’s 2004 and 2007 World Series championships.
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