Mark 'The Bird' Fidrych Dies At 54 (4/13/09)

goreds2

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Oct 14, 2008
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I remember him as a kid watching his rookie season of 1976. RIP :(

Mark 'The Bird' Fidrych Dies At 54

by The Associated Press

NPR.org, April 13, 2009 · Former All-Star pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych was found dead Monday in an apparent accident at his Massachusetts farm. He was 54.

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said a family friend found Fidrych about 2:30 p.m. Monday beneath a dump truck at his farm, in Northborough. He appeared to be working on the truck, Early said.

The colorful right-hander was the American League rookie of the year in 1976 when he went 19-9 with a 2.34 ERA. He spent all five of his major league seasons with the Detroit Tigers, compiling a 29-19 record and a 3.10 ERA.

His career was cut short by injuries.

Fidrych attempted a comeback in 1983 with the Boston Red Sox and went to their Triple A team in Pawtucket, R.I. But he never pitched in the majors after 1980 and retired in 1983.

The Worcester, Mass., native later owned a trucking business.

Fidrych acquired the nickname "The Bird" because of his resemblance to the Big Bird character on the Sesame Street television show. During games, he would bend down and groom the mound with his hands, appear to talk to the baseball and slap high fives with teammates in the middle of the diamond.

He started the 1976 All-Star game after opening the season with seven wins in eight decisions. He finished that season with 24 complete games.

But he tore knee cartilage during spring training the following year and was placed on the disabled list until May 24. He sustained a shoulder injury in July 1977 and ended up pitching in just 58 games during his major league career.

State police detectives are investigating the circumstances of his death, Early said.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... t=1&f=1001
 

Aaron

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Oct 10, 2008
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Sad news. :(


 

MM

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Oct 9, 2008
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This is sad news. Being a Detroit fan and being not far from Northborough really makes it hit home.
 

Jgatie

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Oct 14, 2008
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I was stunned to hear this tonight. I met the guy back in the late 80's. He was from the Westborough area and I dated a good friend of his little sister. Nice guy, owned a farm in Southborough, Mass.
 

HecticArt

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Oct 19, 2008
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I remember Kell and Kaline talking about Fidrych's antics during the games.
I was 7 or 8 years old and he was the first player that I really recognized, before that it was just, "yay, the Tigers got a run."

And what a rough way to go too.
 

Steel Cranium

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Nov 12, 2008
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ESPN classic is showing a tigers/yankees game that Mark started (tiger stadium, 1976). Most interesting thing is how skinny all the players look. Obviously before the steriod era.
 

goreds2

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Oct 14, 2008
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OH H.....EYE OH
Quote of the day

“Death has no season.†— Reds manager Dusty Baker while talking about the deaths of Kalas and former Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych.