Former Detroit pitcher Mark Fidrych, a colorful character who earned the nickname "The Bird" in the mid-1970s, died Monday at his Northboro home the age of 54.
Fidrych, a Massachusetts native, shot to stardom in 1976 with the Tigers when he won 19 games and posted an ERA of 2.34. Along the way, he gained a cult following, becoming famous for talking to himself and to the baseball while on the mound. He was injured in spring training the following year, and never achieved the same level of success again.
According to the Worcester District Attorney's office, Fidrych was found by a family friend underneath a pickup truck at his Northboro home around 2:30 p.m. He appeared to have been working on the truck at the time of the accident.