Talk about a depressing week for baseball fans. First Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart is killed in a car crash by a drunk driver leaving the stadium after a start; then early today we learned that legendary voice of Phillies Harry Kalas died after collapsing in the broadcast booth before a game. And now this: the BOSTON GLOBE is reporting that ’70s Tigers pitching phenom Mark Fidrych was killed today when he was crushed by a truck he was working on at his Northborough, Massachusetts, home.
For people who are too young to remember, “The Bird” was the talk of the baseball world in the 1970s, winning the AL Rookie of the Year for the Tigers in 1976 after going 19-9 with a 2.34 ERA. But it wasn’t just Fidrych’s wins that made him special: it was how he got them. He was a fidgety, neurotic mess on the field, making Nomar Garciaparra’s pregame hitting routine seem … well, routine. He also showed a love for the game that bordered on childlike and endured him to millions of fans.
To see for yourself, check out this 1985 profile of Fidrych by Steve Stone after the jump: