Royal Rooters: RIP Mark Fidrych - Royal Rooters

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RIP Mark Fidrych

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Bergs 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 05:01 PM

Link

Guy was a serious piece of work.

http://i.rollingstone.com/assets/rs/11/3861/images/22693_lg.jpg
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Posted 13 April 2009 - 05:21 PM

Oh damn.

His five minutes of greatness as a player was before my time. But I remember him stopping in the Tigers' broadcast booth for a few innings during a Sox/Tigers game a few years ago. Absolutely made the broadcast. What a character.
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Posted 13 April 2009 - 05:31 PM

Mark was a genuine human being who always seemed surprised by the fame that came into his life during the 1976 season. I watched him play for two seasons with the PawSox. He beat Dave Righetti in perhaps the most famous game in franchise history back in 1982. Rags had been farmed out after a strong rookie season and Fidrych was trying to pitch his way back to the big leagues. Those two produced the first overflow sellout ever at McCoy Stadium. They probably had 12,000 people in and around the park that night. The PawSox were drawing about 2,000 on a normal night. Mark pitched nine innings. I think the PawSox won, 5-4.

Fidrych was a guest on the MLB network last week. He still had that youthful way of carrying himself. I hope he had a good life. I know everyone who met him really liked the guy. I never heard anyone say or write anything bad about the man.
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Posted 13 April 2009 - 05:34 PM

I am truly saddened by this. While I never had the pleasure of meeting Fidrych, it is something I always hoped to do one day. Having grown up in Michigan, I heard many of The Bird's 1976 outings on the radio, and despite being a Red Sox fan, I remember being captivated by Ernie Harwell's descriptions of his antics. The game has lost one of its truly great characters.
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Posted 13 April 2009 - 06:32 PM

I was a grad student at Michigan in 1976, and, although I remained a Sox fan during my years out there, I enjoyed watching Fidrych pitch. My condolences to his family.
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Posted 13 April 2009 - 08:23 PM

View Postjackson, on Apr 13 2009, 06:31 PM, said:

Fidrych was a guest on the MLB network last week. He still had that youthful way of carrying himself. I hope he had a good life. I know everyone who met him really liked the guy. I never heard anyone say or write anything bad about the man.



I saw that. It was a really good segment. He just seemed like a down-to-earth guy even when he was this world-acclaimed celebrity. It seemed so far removed from today's instant communication when he said he didn't have a phone in his first apartment in Detroit. He's on the cover of Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated, etc., and he's going to the pay phone at the corner to call his parents.

It's just too, too bad.
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Posted 13 April 2009 - 08:26 PM

I remember being in awe as a 10 year old and reading about him in the Globe after every start. One of the greatest seasons ever.

If he came along 10 years later, they would have been able to fix his shoulder and who knows what he would have done.

And who could forget this SI
http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/si_online/covers/images/1977/0606_large.jpg

RIP Bird
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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:24 AM

From today's Globe:

Chad Finn - Fidrych killed in truck accident on farm; Ex-pitcher found beneath vehicle

http://cache.boston.com/resize/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2009/04/13/1239676834_4813/539w.jpg




Bryan Marquand - Obituary: Mark 'The Bird' Fidrych, 54; pitcher enthralled fans


http://cache.boston.com/resize/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2009/04/13/1239677832_3767/539w.jpg
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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:51 AM

Abby Jordan, MetroWest Daily News - Northborough's Mark "The Bird" Fidrych dies in accident on farm
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Posted 14 April 2009 - 11:43 AM

He was before my time, but I remember seeing clips of him talking to the baseball on the mound. I was in Little League at the time and thought that was a novel idea. One horrific outing later and I never talked to the ball again. I still thought he was one the coolest characters around.

Read the globe article earlier today, sounds like a guy that could do no wrong. Shame to have his life ended so early, didn't even realize he was just 54.
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Posted 14 April 2009 - 12:10 PM

Paul Jarvey, T&G - ‘The Bird’ made his mark with genuine style

Dave Nordman and Elaine Thompson, T&G - Fidrych remembered for his magical rookie year
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Posted 14 April 2009 - 12:39 PM

View PostLou Duffys Cliff, on Apr 13 2009, 07:26 PM, said:

I remember being in awe as a 10 year old and reading about him in the Globe after every start. One of the greatest seasons ever.

If he came along 10 years later, they would have been able to fix his shoulder and who knows what he would have done.

And who could forget this SI

RIP Bird


I was also about 9-10 when Fidrych broke into baseball. I wasn't yet a full-fledged fan, but he sure helped spark my interest in baseball. My stepfather loved him and Al Hrabosky 'round that time.

This post has been edited by Edmund Dantes: 14 April 2009 - 01:42 PM

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 01:25 PM

Brendan McGair, Pawtucket Times - PawSox remember Fidrych

Fidrych arrived in Pawtucket after taking a sabbatical from baseball in 1981. He was broken down physically, suffering from knee and shoulder ailments, but still generated plenty of buzz.

“There was the hope he would catch one last bit of good luck,” Tamburro said. “When he came to the (International League) he sold out his first two starts at McCoy.”
The Fidrych vs. Righetti card was hailed as the hottest ticket in town. At the time, McCoy Stadium sat 6,000, but somehow, Tamburro said, the final attendance figure ended up exceeding 9,500. It was the biggest crowd in McCoy history before the stadium was renovated in 1999.

“Don’t ask me where the other 3,000 came from,” Mondor chuckled.

“Hundreds were sitting in the aisles, people were belly-to-belly in the walkways,” Tamburro said. “Even people were standing on their cars beyond the leftfield fence; everyone wanted a piece of this game.”

Righetti fulfilled his end of the bargain, striking out 12 of the first 15 PawSox he faced. He headed for the showers after five innings. “I think he was sending a message to [Yankees owner George] Steinbrenner,” said Mondor.

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 01:31 PM

http://metrowestdailynews.static.ghm.zope.net/resources/rockford/logos/metrowestdailynews_logo.gif

Lenny Megliola - Fidrych: From farm to fame, back to farm

The stadium lights were made for Fidrych, even though he didn't know it, and no one saw it coming, including him. He might as well have been back on the farm, throwing fastballs against the side of the barn, for all the pressure he felt in front of 50,000 curious spectators. It was if he were saying to them, "Nice to be here, folks. Now sit back and let me entertain you." And he did.

Mark "The Bird" Fidrych was back on the farm, way before he should have been, after the summer of 1976, when he reached heights that only a few athletes could ever know. But that was it. One year. An unknown had shown up, spectacularly, unexpectedly. Even the team that signed him, the Detroit Tigers, couldn't quite understand it, and while a country gaped, the 21-year-old Fidrych won 19 games, pitched in the All-Star Game and was named American League rookie of the year.

Where had he come from? How did this happen? There was nothing that knocked your eye out, when he pitched around here as a youngster. He was okay, but to become a national celebrity - that is, more than just a big-time jock - no, that didn't make any sense.

And yet it did. When a supernova arrives, you can't miss it. SUPERNOVA: "a rare celestial phenomenon...resulting in an extremely bright short-lived object that emits vast amounts of energy."

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 02:03 PM

Elaine Thompson, T&G - A town mourns; FIDRYCH WAS A REGULAR GUY IN NORTHBORO


He left his Mark on smiling nation



Paul Jarvey - ‘Bird’ was the catch of his life
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Posted 16 April 2009 - 03:04 PM

From ProJo:


Jim Donaldson: Mark Fidrych's special season as a Pawtucket Red Sox

“There was an innocence about him,” Tamburro said. “He was a gregarious, happy-go-lucky guy. He was a big farm boy. Everything about him was genuine. What he did on the mound was no ‘put-on,’ no act.”

What he did against Righetti and the Clippers that night at McCoy in 1982 was something special.

“You gotta feel good about a game like this,” the Bird bubbled, after striking out Butch Hobson to nail the final out in a 7-5 win. “I went nine and we won. It’s a good feeling.”

If Fidrych felt embittered that his promising career was cut short by arm woes, he never let it show.

“He appreciated the time he had,” Tamburro said.

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 03:17 PM

View PostCambridge, on Apr 13 2009, 06:34 PM, said:

I am truly saddened by this. While I never had the pleasure of meeting Fidrych, it is something I always hoped to do one day. Having grown up in Michigan, I heard many of The Bird's 1976 outings on the radio, and despite being a Red Sox fan, I remember being captivated by Ernie Harwell's descriptions of his antics. The game has lost one of its truly great characters.


I'm pretty saddened by this too. My parents went to high school with him and NEVER mentioned it at all - was one of my fathers friends - said he was one of the nicest guys in the world. They're heading to the wake tonight which is supposed to be pretty big.
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Posted 17 April 2009 - 02:20 PM

Abby Jordan, MWDN - Hundreds mourn Mark Fidrych in Northborough
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Posted 17 April 2009 - 02:31 PM

Dave Nordman, T&G - Fidrych’s free spirit honored at funeral service


NORTHBORO — There should be a place in the Hall of Fame for good guys like Mark Fidrych.
That was the message delivered by Willie Horton at Mr. Fidrych’s funeral this morning at First Parish Unitarian Church. Mr. Horton roamed left field for the Tigers during Mr. Fidrych’s magical rookie season in 1976.

Mr. Horton credited Mr. Fidrych with bolstering the country’s interest in baseball. Once again, baseball was a family event, Mr. Horton said.

Mr. Horton was part of a lineup of six eulogists at the funeral. Mr. Fidrych, 54, a Northboro native who was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1976, was killed in an accident on his farm Monday.

The service was a reflection of Mr. Fidrych’s humble life in and out of baseball. The church was packed, and an overflow crowd of about 1,000 filled the parish hall.

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 04:05 PM

View PostRedSoxAnni, on Apr 17 2009, 01:31 PM, said:

Dave Nordman, T&G - Fidrych’s free spirit honored at funeral service


NORTHBORO — There should be a place in the Hall of Fame for good guys like Mark Fidrych.
That was the message delivered by Willie Horton at Mr. Fidrych’s funeral this morning at First Parish Unitarian Church. Mr. Horton roamed left field for the Tigers during Mr. Fidrych’s magical rookie season in 1976.

Mr. Horton credited Mr. Fidrych with bolstering the country’s interest in baseball. Once again, baseball was a family event, Mr. Horton said.

Mr. Horton was part of a lineup of six eulogists at the funeral. Mr. Fidrych, 54, a Northboro native who was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1976, was killed in an accident on his farm Monday.

The service was a reflection of Mr. Fidrych’s humble life in and out of baseball. The church was packed, and an overflow crowd of about 1,000 filled the parish hall.


At least he was sent off well. I haven't thought about Will Horton in years! Brings back memories.
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