Our Favorite Tigers of All Time: #8 Mark Fidrych

No top ten list of favorite Tigers players is complete without The Bird on it. He was an eceletic guy and a fan favorite. When the Bird was on the team, fans used to boo when Jack Morris was throwing. Read past the jump for more.

Name: Mark Steven “The Bird” Fidrych
Quote: “Sometimes I get lazy and let the dishes stack up, but they don’t stack too high. I’ve only got four dishes”
Years with the Tigers: 1976-1980
World Series Rings with the Tigers: 0, but he was Rookie of the Year in 1976
Where is he today?: He operates a farm and a diner in Northboro, MA. Also, he does lots of things for charity around the country.
Why, oh why did you pick him?
I like the Bird. He’s a nice guy. Currently he travels around the state on his motorcycle and collects money for charities. My mom, who lives up north, tells me about how he stops with his guys at the local bar, the Town Pump, once a year for charity (Wurts Warriors?). He takes his picture with the locals in the bar and is generally a (tall!) cool guy.

I wasn’t alive in 1976, so to me, Mark Fidrych is one of those baseball legends. He talked to the baseball. He had an amazing season in 1976. He drove a subcompact car. He lived in a small Detroit apartment. He didn’t make a lot of money but he didn’t seem to really care. He was a simple guy, playing a simple game and the fans adored him. He would regularly sell out games on the old corner when he pitched.

In 1977, he was injured and tore his rotator cuff. In 1977 they couldn’t diagnose and fix a rotator cuff like they can today and his career was pretty much over. Nonetheless, he remains part of baseball (and Tigers) lore.

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