Tiger Pitcher Mark ‘The Bird’ Fidrych Has Died at 54

April 14, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Mark ‘The Bird’ Fidrych, the endearing free-spirited Detroit Tigers pitcher whose sensational 1976 rookie season earned him a singular place in Tigers history, died Monday in an apparent accident, at the age of 54.

Fidrych was found dead beneath a dump truck he appeared to be working on at his farm in Northborough, Mass., the CBC reported

Fidrych with his idiosyncratic ways began games by grooming the surface of the mound and speaking to himself via the baseball.

The right-hander was a delight to fans on his way to winning the American League Rookie of the Year, as he went 19-9 with a 2.34 ERA and threw 24 complete games.

Perhaps burning out his arm that magical year, injuries limited Fidrych to only 10 victories after his rookie season. He threw his final big-league pitch in 1980. Rest in peace Mark!


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