Sadly, this is what I think of when I see Luis Tiant

1980 Topps #35 - Luis Tiant - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

1980 Topps #35 – Luis Tiant – Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

“El Tiante” was a four-time 20 game winner and twice led the league in ERA.  So what leaps to mind when I see a picture of him?  A very cheesy 1970’s commercial for “Yankee Franks”, a regional brand of hot dog at the time.  After Tiant signed with the Yankees as a free agent, he appeared in this commercial which ends with Tiant looking into the camera and saying, in his thick Cuban accent, “Eet’s great to be weeth a wiener”… because he could be saying ‘winner’ or ‘wiener’, get it?  …Yeah, well I said it was cheesy.

I’d include a link to this commercial, but it doesn’t appear to be out there anywhere.  Most online references I’ve seen don’t even get the brand of hot dog right.

So, I apologize, Luis… Lo siento… But this commercial’s catchphrase is what immediately jumps to mind when I see one of your baseball cards.

3 thoughts on “Sadly, this is what I think of when I see Luis Tiant

  1. Yes, I cannot find the commercial anywhere on the net, almost like it was scrubbed. The 1980 Yankees yearbook had a full pager, Tiant holding up the dog. I’m an A’s fan in New York, and they played that commercial five times a day. In mid April, when the advertising geniuses realized, what I did two weeks prior as a 12 year old, that El Tiante was long done.

  2. That’s exactly what I think of as well. The year before he was a closer for the Red Sox. The Yankees did with him what they have done for so many other nemeses: acquisition. Hopefully the MLB Hall of Fame will finally vote him in soon. As we see a future influx of young Cuban players, we should remember him as one of the pioneers.

  3. Colonial was the company that made both Fenway Franks and Yankee Franks. Tiant had already been doing commercials for them with the Red Sox and when he joined the Yankees it meant he didn’t lose his cushy advertising deal.

    Tiant not only did the hot dog commercials with the “Eets great to be with a WEEN-ER!” tag he also did commercials for their line of bacon. One spot I remember showed him up early in the morning preparing the bacon and then the announcer asks, “Aren’t you going to share that with your family?” and he just looks in the camera after eating it (while wearing a Yankee hat) and goes, “No.”

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