- The Bird
- August 14, 1954
- 6' 3"
- 175 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-20-1976 with DET
- Allstar Selections:
- 1976 ROOK
Quotes About Mark Fidrych
"When he starts pitching, the other clubs in the league will be calling up the Red Sox asking them to start him in their park. They'll be sending me cases of scotch to change the pitching rotation!" Red Sox manager Ralph Houk on the attempted comeback by Mark Fidrych in 1982
Quotes From Mark Fidrych
"I don't talk to the ball. Sure, I say things like 'flow' and 'snap it off,' but I'm talking to myself, not the ball." — Mark Fidrych, explaining his antics on the mound
Mark Fidrych Teammates
Best Season: 1976
He went 19-9 with a league-leading 2.34 ERA. Three times he pitched six straight complete games, and he won eight straight games at one point. He was chosen to start the All-Star Game, which he lost. He hurled a two-hitter, a four-hitter, and five five-hitters. Fidrych was a distant second to Jim Palmer in Cy Young voting, but was named AL Rookie of the Year.
Fidrych so captured the imagination of Detroit fans in 1976 that at least one baby was named after him. Another manifestation of the mania Fidrych created in the city was that female fans raided barber shops he frequented in an effort to obtain souvenir locks of his curly hair. Other girls asked their hairdressers to make their coifs look like his. Even a model copied his hairdo, calling it her "Fidrych Frizzies."
No Frills Fidrych
Fidrych was a simple man. Even at the height of his popularity he wore blue jeans, drove a beat-up old pickup truck, and claimed he had three dishes: a plate, a knife, and a fork.
In 1976 Fidrych became the second Tiger to be named Rookie of the Year (Harvey Kuenn, 1953). In 1977 Detroit added another fine rookie pitcher in Dave Rozema (who finished 4th in ROY voting). In '78 Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammell, and Lance Parrish formed a rookie trio, with "Sweet Lou" taking the AL Rookie of the Year honor.
Where He Played
Starting pitcher (all but two games)
Nine Other Players Who Debuted in 1976
"The Bird," because of his resemblance to "Big Bird" of Sesame Street.
Dave Rozema, Jack Morris, Bruce Kimm
The Pitches He Threw
Fastball, change-up, curve, slider
Awards and Honors
1976 AL Rookie of the Year
In his brief career, Fidrych started 56 games, and completed 34 of them (61%)... Five times he pitched into extra innings, winning games that he pitched into the 11th inning three times... Fidrych pitched a two-hitter, one three-hitter, one four-hitter, and seven five-hitters, among his 34 career complete games.
June 5, 1974: Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 10th round of the 1974 amateur draft; October 5, 1981: Released by the Detroit Tigers; February 25, 1982: Signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.
Who was Mark Fidrych's personal catcher in 1976?
Jack Morris was given a chance in the Tigers' 1977 rotation due to Fidrych's injury.
Best Strength as a Player
Control, and crowd-appeal.
Largest Weakness as a Player Failure to curb his enthusiasm, which ultimately resulted in a foolish injury that led to his arm troubles.
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- Baseball History, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Mark Fidrych, Rookie of the Year Award, The Bird