Mark "The Bird" Fidrych Dead at 54
Fidrych appeared in West Michigan in 2006
Fidrych appeared in West Michigan in 2006
Executive Editor
Posted Apr 13, 2009
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Former Tigers' pitcher and AL Rookie of the Year Mark "The Bird" Fidrych has passed away from an apparent accident at his farm in Massachusetts. Fidrych was 54.

On the same day that Phillies legendary announcer Haray Kalas passed away, the same fate met former Tigers' pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych.

Fidrych was found on his farm in Massachusetts on Monday afternoon, under a dump truck, passing away due to an apparent accident.

"The Bird", as he became popularly known, took Detroit and all of the nation by storm in 1976, gaining his nickname because of the physical resemblance to Big Bird, the Sesame Street character. Fidrych's persona grew as his antics on the mound entertained fans everywhere.

Fidrych was named the American League Rookie of the Year in 1976, earning 19 wins and receiving the honor of starting for the American League in the All-Star game.

But injuries sidelined Fidrych's career - he won just 10 games after that famed 1976 season, leaving the Tigers after 1980. He attempted a comeback in 1982 with the Boston Red Sox in their minor leagues, but was never able to regain that spark.

On the day when the Phillies lost a legend, and less than a week since the Angels lost promising young starter Nick Adenhart to a car accident, the game of baseball has lost a good pitcher, a great entertainer, and an even better and more down-to-earth person.

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