Mark "The Bird" Fidrych dead

Discussion in 'Football, Baseball, and Hockey' started by Darth Tater, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater All-Star Forum Donor 6x Fantasy Champion

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  2. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    No way.
    Last I heard he was having some weird illness'.
  3. OLD SKOOL HQ

    OLD SKOOL HQ All-Star

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    RIP TO THE BIRD

    Former Tiger Mark 'The Bird' Fidrych dies at 54 | detnews.com | The Detroit News


    THE GREATEST SPORTS PHENOMENON IN MY SPORTS LOVING LIFE: MARK FIDRYCH!!

    detnews.com | Michigan History


    TRIBUTE:

    I had no idea where we were going that Monday night in 1976. When you are a 12 year old growing up in Northwest Detroit, you got excited just hearing "Put on your coat! We goin to McDonald's!"
    So that Monday night as I got dressed I was in eager anticipation of a BIg Mac. They didnt have 'extra value meals' back then. A Big Mac was 'XTRA" enough! We climbed into our father's burgandy Riveria and started our trek down I-10, The LODGE. After 20 minutes of me naming all the landmarks as I was prone to do(my father would have me give directions to anywhere in the city a visitor wanted to go), I began to see the ominous sight of the Penobscot Building.
    "Oh , we going downtown", I thought. I dare not say it out loud or else I might wake up. I loved going downtown. (still do...but i digress)
    Then we hit I-75, The Fisher. You can always tell people who were ACTUALLY from Detroit by having them name THE FIVE FINGERS or the names of the Interstates. And as we rolled toward Michigan Ave and Trumbell, I noticed ALL THE CARS. CARS EVERYWHERE!!! THEN, I noticed the people. (Hey ...Its the Motor City...YOU always notice the CARS first!!)
    Then >>only then , I began to realize. We goin to Tiger Stadium!! And we goin to see THE BIRD!! O ..MY..GOD!!! My father noticed my face and I saw that wry smile of satisfaction hit his lips. There is nothing liking seeing the look of gratification that a person can give a child. (In the back of my mind, I thought "I hope I'm not dying!)
    When you enter Tiger Stadium, the first thing that hits you is THE SMELL. Not just ONE smell. It's a combination of hot dogs, cigars, Pabst blue ribbon, Better Made Chips, an old man's pipe and even the restrooms!! LOL You walk in and everything seems so HUGE. You hear someone's AM (no FM) radio and there's the sound of Ernie harwell DESCRIBING what you are seeing!!
    We went to our seats that I will always remember. right centerfield, bottom deck, 4 rows from the fence, less than 100' from Ron LeFlore!!!
    Every seat was taken. Then you look over the First base line and you see it: ABC MONDAY NIGHT BASEBALL IS HERE!! And there's HOW-ard CO-sell. And I think keith jackson was doing play by play. Can It get any better than this.

    THE BIRD!
    You watched him in the bullpen. You watched him in the dugout. You watched him as he ran to the mound. He smoothed out to the mound, carefully, as not to offend the groundskeepers. (especially Dancing Willie(right?) who swept his broom in the 6th inning like he was Joe Tex!)

    What stuck with me? Ron LeFlore stole 2 bases. Rusty Staub choking up on the bat. And the great YANKees in town only to lose 5-1 as The Bird goes all 9 innings like a whirling dirvish and we COULD NOT LEAVE!!! We stood and clapped and clapped as they say it was 47000 people but it had to be 52000, the stadium max. The old place shook like only one time i ever saw after...When Kirk Gibson hit the 3 run homer off Goose Gossage in the 84 World series. THAT shook the state!!

    So at 54 young years old, he is gone. Mark Fidrych. The greatest oneseason ICON in ALL of sports history. He did nothing wrong for 6 months of my life.

    Thank you, Mark. For giving the smile that when mentioning your name and that night NEVER leaves my face.

    I still have the SI cover in your honor. YOU WERE 'THE BIRD"!!
  4. OLD SKOOL HQ

    OLD SKOOL HQ All-Star

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    Sorry guys...my tribute took a while to write. didnt mean to make two threads.
  5. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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  6. Nemo

    Nemo The Great Predictor Forum Donor

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    Went to every game he pitched in 76' from May 1st on.
    Tigers averaged about 18,000 fans per game that season.
    Bird averaged about 46,000 fans for every one of his home games.
    I've never seen fans react the way people did for him.
    I went to a convention in June in Chicago and EVERYBODY wanted to know about him.
    Curtain calls became a part of his after game ritual.
    Seemed like he never pitched above the knees.
    He'd go out and groom the mound and 50 or so cameramen would snap shots.


    YouTube - Mark "The Bird" Fidrych
  7. LA Dre

    LA Dre All-Star 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Ah yes I remember being caught up in Bird Mania..as I was 21 too at the time of his craziness...RIP Bird
  8. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    Re: RIP TO THE BIRD

    This wasn't a very good post.
    ...This was a GREAT post!

    Well done Skoooooooo!
  9. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater All-Star Forum Donor 6x Fantasy Champion

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    Re: RIP TO THE BIRD

    :nod::nod::nod:
  10. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    Re: RIP TO THE BIRD

    awesome story hq!
  11. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    Re: RIP TO THE BIRD

    We get to ride the bus again.
  12. basketbills

    basketbills All-Star Forum Donor

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    Back in '76 the Fidrych phenomenon was something I shared with my Dad. Just going from memory here but I remember a Saturday game against Cleveland. We were watching Fidrych pitch for the first time...against Cleveland. Talking to the ball, motioning his arm where he wanted the ball to go, on his hands and knees grooming the mound and shaking hands with surprised players as they ended the inning.

    He kept the ball down around their knees for the whole game and pitched a 2 hitter.

    Other games listening to Ernie and Paul call his games outside in the summer of '76.
  13. linwood

    linwood All-Star

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    Thanks HQ, that was great!
  14. LA Dre

    LA Dre All-Star 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    ESPN Classic is currently showing a Tiger game from June 1976 vs the first place Yanks with "The Bird" pitching.

    In addition to Fydrych, good to see the old faces like Alex Johnson, Ron Leflore, Aurelio Rodriguez, Mickey Stanley, Jason Thompson and the immortal Rusty Staub playing. To bad Willie Horton was injured and was not active for this game..as it would have been nice to see my childhood hero once agan.
  15. OLD SKOOL HQ

    OLD SKOOL HQ All-Star

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    Re: RIP TO THE BIRD

    Thanks, BDL!! I HAD that baseball card too!!!! LOL..One day i'll tell the story of when u leave for college , come back home and find your mother accidently threw away your baseball cards and sports Illustrated's! :shout:
  16. OLD SKOOL HQ

    OLD SKOOL HQ All-Star

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    I hope they replay it. Alex Johnson went to Northwestern with My Dad,
    and thanks all of my friends here for your kind words! Just call me "The Narrator" or "Grandpa rockinChair!!"
    I still owe Roscoe the story of the team I invented : The Phoenix Warriors!! Won World Series in 1978-79 and 82!! Also, my NBA team, the Pittsburgh Comets, led by 6-9 All star Lee Johnson!!
  17. LA Dre

    LA Dre All-Star 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    It's still on right now....Tigers lead 2-1 in the 7th inning., oops make that 3-1..Aurelio just parked one over the right fence...
  18. OLD SKOOL HQ

    OLD SKOOL HQ All-Star

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    RATS!!!! i didnt see it cuz I was looking at the guide menu!!! Curse this cable!
  19. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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  20. OLD SKOOL HQ

    OLD SKOOL HQ All-Star

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    Wow Thanks! My wife smiled greatly!! (She actually thinks we are a national spread! LOL)

    I think I'm a TRIBUTOR now! :bow1:

    or just another sad old man with a toilet full of unrelenting memories......

    anyway THANKS BROTHER,,,glad u liked it ...and LOVE me!!!:yo:

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