Remembering Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

Mark “The Bird” Fidrych courtesy Mark Fidrych Foundation

Mark Fidrych reminded you of your childhood, no matter how old you were when he pitched. This was his charm, his curse, his legacy. He personified athletic innocence.
-Michael Rosenberg, Detroit Free Press

I’m a lifelong Detroit Tiger fan & without question one of the most magical summers was the summer of ’76 when The Bird tore up the majors with his talking to the ball, mound grooming antics en route to a 19-9 season, winning AL Rookie of the Year honors (and finishing runner-up for the Cy Young), and leading the league in ERA.
 
He died unexpectedly 11 years ago today, and it still hurts to lose a bright light light like him so young. My dad had a Michigan sports show on TV that year, and I actually got to meet Mark. I don’t remember what he said to me, but I do remember how clear & in the moment he was and above all, what a truly nice human being he was.

More about this weird and wonderful character can be found at BaseballReference.com’s page for Mark Steven Fidrych and definitely watch this interview with Fydrich for a look at this Detroit Tiger original!

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3 thoughts on “Remembering Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

  1. A couple weeks back they replayed the Monday Night Baseball game in late June 1976 of The Bird against the Yankees at Tiger Stadium. It was great to re-live those memories. The great thing about Mark was- he was 100% real!.. Have you heard the song “1976” by The Baseball Project? It’s a song about The Bird.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was fortunate enough to see The Bird pitch at Tiger Stadium during his incredible rookie season. He lost one end of a double header to the Twins that day (The Tigers lost both games). But that game still remains one of my favorite memories from the Corner.

    Like

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