Of all the pitchers retired Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell saw during his long career, Mark “The Bird” Fidrych was his favorite. The same can be said for thousands of Tigers fans who were captivated by Fidrych during his rookie season in 1976. His career didn’t really amount to much, but his legacy endures. Fidrych will never be forgotten in Detroit.
In 1975, the Tigers had one of their worst seasons with a club that consisted mostly of has-beens and wanna-bes. Fidrych seemed to change all of that single-handedly in ’76 as he became the toast of the baseball world for one magical summer.
He started the All-Star Game for the American League that year and ended the season with a 19-9 record and a 2.34 ERA. When Fidrych pitched, it was an event. He consistently pitched before sellout crowds — both at Tiger Stadium and on the road.
To this day, our customers — and the old timers from the neighborhood — seem to reminisce about Fidrych more than any other player.
Here’s a cool video posted on YouTube.com about Fidrych that I think you’ll enjoy. It’s an interview with “The Bird” on his Massachusetts farm from 1985. It’s full of great footage and a lot of great memories. Click on the photo below and/or click here to view it. GO BIRD GO!