Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 It's the 30th anniversary of Mark Fidrych's great season Previous Next
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Xphillipjrx
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Username: Xphillipjrx

Post Number: 122
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.252.194.165
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 4:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I saw this column http://espn.go.com/page2/s/lis t/onehitwonders.html and I am sure Detroityes has some great collective memories of the 1976 Tigers. I will start: My dad bought my brother and I a cat and we named him Mark after Mark Fidrych. He lived to be 14 years old. We always joked that it was easy to remember what year we got that cat!
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Xphillipjrx
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Username: Xphillipjrx

Post Number: 123
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.252.194.165
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 4:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Fidrych was in a Where are they now? spread (in SI, I think) and he drives a truck either in the UP or the northern LP.
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Smogboy
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Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 2277
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 69.47.100.44
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 4:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I still remember the iron-on that came in an edition of the Free Press. Some iron-on! I ruined a perfectly good t-shirt trying to iron on a cartoon of the Bird! And I still remember him starting the All-Star game too. Wow... it's been that long already.
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Bongman
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Username: Bongman

Post Number: 1014
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 198.111.56.128
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 9:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was 16, and at the nationally televised Monday Night game when the Bird beat the Yankees. You could see Howard Cosell standing in the press box above the 1st base line, getting into it just like all the other fans. The stadium was packed, and everyone stood and cheered until The Bird came back out at the end of the game. I don't think he pitched for a home crowd of less than 40,000 the rest of the year.
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Xd_brklyn
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Username: Xd_brklyn

Post Number: 130
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.88.89.94
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 10:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Bird phenomenon was crazy. Nothing else like it in sports anywhere in my time. That Monday Night Game against the Yankees was shown on Classic Sports awhile ago. Forgot about the simplicity of the broadcast and how easy-going Fidrych was off the field.

Story I heard about Fidrych:

After Fidrych gained national attention, word got out about how he only made minimum salary for a ballplayer at that time. (I think it was $16,000?) So baseball fans around the country were sending Mark Fidrych dollar bills , anywhere from ones to twenties. Fidrych opened the envelopes, took out the cash worth over $1,000, and said "What am I supposed to do with this?"

Don't know how true that story is, but I can imagine Mark Fidrych saying something like that at the time.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 5671
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 69.209.187.153
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 11:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm pretty sure my father, sister, and I went to every single game that amazing maniac pitched...talk about your sleep deprivation experiment played out on thousands of Detroit-area youth.

How many of his games were 10-12 innings?!

Funny how my spirituality at 42 reflects some of his wonderfully wacky antics...except I cannot remember the last time I caressed and talked with a mound of dirt.

What great memories...even though we discovered I needed glasses while driving to an east side autograph signing, when I couldn't read the road signs.
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Old_southwest
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Username: Old_southwest

Post Number: 118
Registered: 07-2005
Posted From: 67.149.72.160
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 11:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Bird was great. I remember how he used to talk to the ball and pile the dirt up on the mound. One of the most exciting people to play for the Tigers.

Those were the days!
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Detroit48213
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Username: Detroit48213

Post Number: 27
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 69.219.20.60
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 12:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was 16. I used to ride the gratiot bus to the stadium by myself because my friend's did not like basball like I did.
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Rrl
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Username: Rrl

Post Number: 463
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 71.213.227.199
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 12:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The unproven and unsubstantiated story of how Fidrych's career ended, but here's the way I heard it.

Apparently Fidrych was hitting on some babe at a bar, and the babe's jealous husband/boyfriend grabbed his arm, pulled it up behind his back, and pulled the arm out of the socket.

His throwing prowess was never the same afterwards. Urban Legend?
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Wirt
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Username: Wirt

Post Number: 19
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 64.243.32.9
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 1:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was at the game when Bruce Kim (I think that was his name), the catcher got his first hit after going hitless for about half of the season.
It was a liner to left - and it was at exactly the same moment that someone in the bleachers scaled the old scoreboard and mooned the entire crowd....That Yankees game was probably at the peak of the 'Bird national phenomenon'.
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Xd_brklyn
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Username: Xd_brklyn

Post Number: 131
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.88.89.94
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 1:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, I think the official story is that he was doing a one arm leap over a fence when he pulled it. Though at that the same time as when the official story came out, I heard another story involving him, his girl, pitcher's mound and leaping the fence at night. Then again, I was in high school at the time so my sources must be considered highly suspect.

In any case, enjoy hearing another tale about Fidrych.
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Harpernottingham
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Username: Harpernottingham

Post Number: 2
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 66.178.227.202
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 1:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Check out this tribute to The Bird:

www.myspace.com/kidfidrych

(Special thanks to certified Birdbrain Dave Mesrey.)
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Harpernottingham
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Username: Harpernottingham

Post Number: 3
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 66.178.227.202
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 1:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Regarding urban legends about The Bird.

I, too, have heard the story of him hurting his arm in a bar fight. The bar was in Belleville. That's about all I know. I met a guy at a Halloween party who said he was there.

The Bird's official story was that he hurt his knee shagging flies in spring training 1977. That much is true. In fact, he blamed Joe Falls for cursing him. Falls had written in the paper that Fidrych was bound to hurt himself with all his wacky antics.

Anyhow, he apparently came back too soon from the knee injury and altered his pitching motion to keep pressure off the knee.

That, in turn, hurt his shoulder.

With arthroscopic surgery, his career very likely could have been salvaged. But it was 1977, and the Bird was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Nevertheless, there'll never be another like him.

Just ask team doctor Clarence Livingood, who was by trade a dermatologist. (It's true.)

But Fidrych, always tongue-tied, said to Ernie Harwell: "Dr. Livingood? He don't know nothin' about arms. He's a skin doctor ... one of them gynecologists."
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Harpernottingham
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Username: Harpernottingham

Post Number: 4
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 66.178.227.202
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 1:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

By the way, The Bird lives in Northborough, Massachusetts, his hometown. He lives on a farm and hauls gravel and ashphalt around New England for a living.
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Bagman
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Username: Bagman

Post Number: 60
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 69.220.68.161
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 8:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I will never forget The Bird.
When I was 8 years old I was in line at the Burger Chef that was at the corner of 10 mile and the lodge. It was my mom my sister and me. There was a guy in line in front of us.....When he was finished and had his order in hand he turned around and knocked me to the ground as he went to leave.....While on the floor...I looked up and knew right away who had done this to me....And at 8 I was a pretty big kid... he lifted me off the gound and said " Hey kid you like baseball? I said yes and he handed my mom 4 tickets to a game.....and then he bought us lunch......WAY COOL. I don't get to tell that story often and it brings back good memories to tell in now.

I was lucky last year when they were doing the scratch off card to win a Fidrych Jersey at the ballpark and I won a jersey.
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Knocturnal
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Username: Knocturnal

Post Number: 99
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 161.57.52.52
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 8:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Bird travels throughout the lower L.P. and U.P. each winter on snowmobile with the Wertz Warriors (or used to as recently as three years ago) collecting funds for the Special Olympics. They always used to stop at my hometown's hole-in-the-wall establishment.

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