Friday is National Bird Day in the United States, and we thought this would be an excellent time to pull out some footage of the Tigers’ own Mark “The Bird” Fidrych (not that there’s ever a bad time to watch Fidrych video).
Since The Bird’s magical season, 1976, was over 40 years ago, it’s difficult to find publicly available footage. But here’s what we did find.
Jun. 28 1976: Fidrych pitches against the Yankees on Monday Night Baseball
This is the game that put Fidrych in the national spotlight. He quickly became a fan favorite after this game as viewers all over the country learned his name.
Fidrych’s final line was nine innings, seven hits, one run, no walks, two strikeouts, and one home run. Click here to view the complete box score.
Here’s the ninth inning from that game and a few minutes of postgame video, including Fidrych answering a curtain call from the Tiger Stadium crowd.
May 12, 2016: Fox Sports Detroit commemorates the 40th anniversary of Fidrych’s MLB debut
July 14, 2016: MLB Network presents a short documentary on Fidrych
Fidrych was only 21 years old when he made his MLB debut. He got his nickname from minor league coach Jeff Hogan due to his resemblance to the Sesame Street character Big Bird — Fidrych had a lanky 6’3”, 175 lb frame and long blond curls.
Happy Bird Day!