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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Another One of the Good Guys Gone

Posted Monday, April 13, 2009, at 7:50 PM

Mark "The Bird" Fidrych
For those of us old enough to remember Mark Fidrych, the eccentric former All-Star pitcher nicknamed "The Bird" whose potentially brilliant career was shortened by injuries, was found dead Monday in an apparent accident at his farm. He was 54. The crowd pleasing right-hander was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1976 for the Detroit Tigers.

Some of my fondest baseball memories as a kid were to watch this guy pitch as he talked to the ball and rearranged the dirt on the pitchers mound on his hands and knees oblivious to the fact that he was on national television. He was truly one of the most colorful characters to ever play the game and a true entertainer. He loved the game and perhaps more importantly, he gave back to the sport and to the fans. He was by all accounts one of the first to the park and the last to leave.

His down-to-earth personality and his interaction with fans endeared him to a whole generation of people from all walks of life.

Rest in Peace Bird. Baseball has lost another great ambassador.

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The Voice of the Phillies, Harry Kalas also passed away. Being a Philly fan since the Steve Carlton era made this one hit home for me. I can remember numerous times listening to a terrible AM signal just to keep up with what my Phillies were doing. R.I.P. Harry!

-- Posted by Mike Molder on Tue, Apr 14, 2009, at 6:44 AM

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