whenever Luis Tiant came on the field.
Tiant was one of the early players coming out of the famous Cuban League. He was always a huge presence in any game and a huge hit with all the fans. His love of cigars earned him the nick-name "El Tiante".
As a young player Tiant traveled from Cuba to pitch for the Tigers in the Mexico League.In 1960, on one of his days off, he accompanied friends to see a woman's softball game. As Maria Navarro came running in from center field, she saw a handsome young man in the stands blow her a kiss.
A few days later, Maria and Luis met more formally at a teammate's party. They talked, danced and began dating soon after.
On October 1st of that year, Luis went back to Cuba The couple stayed in touch through letters and occasional phone calls. On May 25, 1961 Luis landed in Mexico City on one of the last flights allowed to leave Cuba.
Luis and Maria were married. Maria remained in Mexico City to live and raise their children, while Luis played in the major leagues. In 1974, at the height of his Red Sox success, the family moved to an area just outside of Boston, and Maria could be found at Fenway Park whenever the Sox were in town.
Her love affair with her husband and with the Red Sox continues, as she enters her own 70's.
She now watches the games in her living room in Ft. Meyers, Florida...but the same intensity is still there.
She wears her Red Sox shirt,or her lucky hat, and joins thousands of other fans leaping up from their seats, pleading and praying as the World Series continues.
As the NYT blog asks, is this series Redux for the Red Sox? (October27,2013 1:22AM)
This, of course, is this Series. But the story was the same in 1975, between the Red Sox and the Reds.
What about El Tiante? He is back at Fenway running his businesses and working for the Red Sox organization.
And...we all hope that in the coming days LOOO_EE will be passing out some victory Tiant Cigars.
Let's go Sox!