April 13, 2009

Mark "The Bird" Fidrych Passes Away...: Victim of an apparent accident on his farm.

posted by TheQatarian to baseball at 06:07 PM - 10 comments

Howard_T was just noting on the Kalas thread that he was hoping these things didn't come in threes. Well, apparently they do. Not a good day for baseball at all.

posted by TheQatarian at 06:09 PM on April 13, 2009


posted by tommybiden at 06:53 PM on April 13, 2009

I think the beginning of this season in regards to losing past and future stars, can be considered something of a tragedy. And I don't bandy the term around lightly. My condolences to all the families and hopes that the rest of the season can be a tribute to those no longer able to play, teach, or call the game.


posted by THX-1138 at 07:24 PM on April 13, 2009

It's a bit weird for me: I watched a replay of him on MLB yesterday. He gave baseball fans some fun in an otherwise serious game.

posted by jjzucal at 07:24 PM on April 13, 2009

I remember his explosive beginning on the baseball scene! As a lifelong Tiger fan, he was like a cool breeze on those summer days that he pitched. I'll miss him but will always have the memories.

posted by jthorpe611 at 08:41 PM on April 13, 2009

Fidrych was one of the great characters in baseball history. I loved his antics when I was a 9-year-old baseball junkie in '76.

I tried to think of anyone today who might be compared to him, but aside from Turk Wendell (retired since 2005) I couldn't think of any.

posted by rcade at 09:13 AM on April 14, 2009

Thanks rcade, I'd been wondering what happened to Turk.

posted by trox at 03:39 PM on April 14, 2009

I tried to think of anyone today who might be compared to him

Fidrych was an original, and nobody before or since has been comparable. Anyone after him who would even attempt to act in a manner at all similar would only come across as lame. There didn't seem to be a phony bone in Fidrych's body, and that's why he was so well received and great for baseball. It's too bad he was around baseball for such a short time, but with a character like him, it was probably appropriate in some sense. His story was as much like a movie plot as any athlete, and the fact he was well adjusted enough to be able to go right to the farm and be a happy family man after his short career makes him even more of a tremendous story. The greatest 29-game winner baseball will ever see.

posted by dyams at 08:46 PM on April 14, 2009

I found out about Mark Fidrych not long after I had posted my comment on Harry Kalas. I had rather an eerie feeling when I heard about it.

dyams is right that Fidrych was a true original. Here's a nice appreciation of him from Chad Finn of The Boston Globe.

posted by Howard_T at 02:50 PM on April 15, 2009

The cause of death has been ruled accidental asphyxiation caused by his clothing being pulled into the truck's drive shaft.

posted by rcade at 02:31 PM on April 16, 2009

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