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Mark Fidrych Mark Fidrych

'1977 Detroit Tigers Yearbook'; Pitcher Rookie of the Year

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"The talk of the baseball world in 1976 was Mark Fidrych, who combined pitching ability with a charisma which veterans of baseball reported completely new to the game. With only two and one half professional seasons under his belt, the curly-haired young righthander carved out a 19-9 record on the mound with a 2.34 ERA which was the lowest in the majors. His 19 victories were the most for a Tiger rookie in 68-years and he fielded his position flawlessly, without an error in 78 chances. Colorful as they come, Fidrych manicured the mound, talked to the ball, ran to and from his position and congratulated every teammate every time he won. His appeal, coast to coast, was so great that his 29 starting performances drew an amazing total of 901,239 fans for an average of 31,077 per game. Fidrych was the starting pitcher in the All-Star game at Philadelphia, the second rookie in history to draw that assignment. His reward was a year-end bonus and a three year contract, plus honors which included Rookie of the Year and Tiger of the Year." From the '1977 Tiger Yearbook'

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