Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Legend of Mark "the bird" Fydrich

I'm late here in my memorial, but when I was a kid one of the most exciting things to talk about was Mark "The Bird" Fidrich. Here was a guy that really got Tiger fans excited in 1976

And, believe it or not, he still is talked about as one of the most exciting players in the history of the game, even though he was basically a one year wonder.

Here are some of his feets:
  • He talked to the ball on the mound, exciting baseball fans and non-baseball fans alike.

  • His birdlike antics where he would bend over and smooth out the mound gave him the knick name "the bird" because he looked like Big Bird on Sesame Street.

  • He was welcomed to the 1976 spring training as a non-roster invitee.

  • He wont 19 games in 1976 (3rd best in AL)

  • He started for the 1976 American League All Star Team.

  • AL Rookie of the Year Award

  • Tiger of the Year award from the Detroit baseball writers

  • Tigers Rookie of the Year award from the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association

  • MLB leader in ERA (2.34)

  • AL leader in complete games (24)

  • Finished 2nd in AL Cy Young Award voting

  • Finished 11th in AL MVP Award voting

  • He had 4 shutouts his rookie year

His career basically was ended in spring training 1977 when he tore the cartilage in his knee in a fluke accident where he tripped over a drain in the outfield. While his career essentially ended at that moment, his legacy lives on.

Rest in piece "the bird." The sportsworld will never forget you.

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