The 10 Greatest Cuban Major Leaguers

Baseball has long been Cuba's national obsession; but few of the island's stars ever made it to the majors. These are the best that found their way to MLB

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Luis Tiant
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Ron Kuntz/Getty1/10

1. Luis Tiant

No one who saw "El Tiante" pitch will ever forget his seemingly endless array of windups, many of which involved the fearsomely Fu-Manchu'd hurler completely turning his back on the batter. Tiant's comical ads for Yankee Franks and California Paints are also the stuff of legend, as are his penchant for sporting funky duds and for puffing cigars in the shower or whirpool tub.

But Tiant was no joke to face; he twice led the AL in ERA, he won 20 games or more in four different seasons, and his career numbers – which include a record of 229-172, a 3.30 ERA, a 114 ERA+ rating, 49 shutouts and 2,416 strikeouts – match up pretty impressively with those of Hall of Famers Catfish Hunter, Jim Bunning and Don Drysdale. As with Oliva and Miñoso, El Tiante failed to make it into the Hall on this year's Golden Era ballot; what's mind-boggling is that, unlike his countrymen, Tiant couldn't even muster more than three votes from the committee's 16 panelists.

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