Mark Fidrych, RIP


His moment in the spotlight lasted about as long as the hiss of a struck match, but what a bright moment it was. And now Mark The Bird Fidrych is dead.

In 1976 my pal Mark Buis and I sat in the left-field bleachers of Tiger Stadium and witnessed one of Fydrich’s few losses his rookie season. We didn’t care. We got to see Mark Fidrych. His boyish enthusiam was as good for MLB as Magic Johnson’s would be for the NBA a few years later.

The Bird talked to himself. He repaired the mound himself. He sprinted to the dugout at the end of an inning. He worked so fast you barely had time to go for a hotdog. But injury took him from baseball, and an accident has taken him for good. Rest in soft peace, Mark Fidrych.

There’s a retrospective at and an appreciation in today’s NYT. And here’s The Bird on youtube.

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