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Mark Fidrych, 1954-2009

and Mark Fidrych has died, as well.

 

The Freep has the AP story, as well as some photo galleries, reminicences, and a story from 2006, when Fidrych came back for a visit.

 

"The year was 1976, which was perfect. If Mark Fidrych had come along 15 years earlier or 15 years later, he would not have had such universal appeal. In 1961, many players and fans would have been appalled by his showmanship; in 1991, they would have figured he was a phony, a self-promoter.

But 1976 was just right for the pitcher they called The Bird. In 1976 a man could be different without being an outcast; he could have long hair and talk to the baseball before he pitched without too much backlash. And ballplayers still were part of the working class. (Fidrych made the major league minimum of $16,500.) They were not the prepackaged image-conscious millionaires who came along later."

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