Mark “The Bird” Fidrych Dead at 54

It’s hard to believe it was so long ago! It was the stuff any 12 year old boy would dream of, the lights, the field, the players all larger than life. There were no steroids in baseball. It was summer vacation and we were going to a Pawtucket Red Sox game. We got there towards the end of pre-game warm ups and my friend Stevie and I ran down the steps to see the players going back into the dugout. One of the players stopped to talk to us. It was Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, who only a few weeks later would put away his glove for the last time. His baseball journey took him from the suburbs of Worcester, Massachusetts to the All-Star Game and Rookie of the Year. Injuries took away the promise of what might have been and brought him to McCoy Stadium. And he still had the enthusiasm that endeared him to the baseball world that magical summer of 1976. I still have that autograph and remember the joy and enthusiasm it brought to a 12 year old boy those many years ago. Thank you Mark Fidrych, may you rest in peace.

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