The Bird: The Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych

Doug Wilson, Author
Doug Wilson. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-00492-5
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-250-02114-4
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-250-04845-5
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The life of one of baseball’s zany hurler Mark Fidrych gets close scrutiny in a solid book by Wilson, a member of the Society of American Baseball Research (Fred Hutchinson and the 1964 Cincinnati Reds). Fidrych, nicknamed “The Bird,” energized Detroit Tiger fans when the tall 21-year-old rookie pitcher won 19 games in the summer of 1976, claiming the Rookie of the Year award. In chronicling the sudden rise and fall of Fidrych, Wilson takes us into the Tigers organization and the Major Leagues to show how an obscure baseball player could capture the hearts of fans nationwide. Although “The Bird” was prone to flapping his arms and ritually cleaning the pitching mound, it was his skill at pitching that made him worth watching, changing speeds and working the corners of home plate against batters. With his face on the covers of Rolling Stone and popular sports magazines, Fidrych could do no wrong in the 1970s, but a knee injury sidelined him in 1977 and arm troubles made a comeback impossible. (Mar.)
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