Thursday, May 15, 2014

Today in Baseball...May 15, 1976.

Few pitchers with a 29-19 career record are remembered in baseball.

In Detroit, a rare bird took flight on this day in 1976, sending Tigers fans in a frenzy every day he pitched.

Mark Fidrych is revered by all us Tigers fans who grew up in the 1970s.

Fidrych was just a kid, not much older than we teenagers were.

I was 16 years old in '76, and the Tigers were everything to me.

Mark Fidrych was just 22 years old when he made his big league debut on May 15th, and what a debut it was.

9 innings, just 2 hits and 1 run allowed to the Cleveland Indians.

That amazing debut by the curly haired rookie was the first of 19 wins, a American League best 2.34 ERA and 24 complete games.

The A.L. Rookie of the Year in 1976, Mark Fidrych was the starting pitcher for the Junior Circuit at the All-Star Game in Philadelphia.

Fidrych hurt himself running around in the outfield grass in Lakeland during the spring if 1977, and he really never recovered.

Mark Fidrych was the big baseball show in 1976, and we can only imagine what a healthy career would've been for him and the Tigers.

Fidrych was beloved by Tigers fans long after his big league career was over, right up to his passing in 2009, and continuing to this day, 38 years after he took the ball at Tiger Stadium for his first start.

To me, the Tigers need to honor Mark Fidrych, with a nice statue of him talking to the baseball.

We miss Mark Fidrych and that great big smile.

A special thanks to the DetroAthletic Company for the Fidrych box score on their Facebook page today.

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