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.