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 R.I.P., Tragic deaths of sports idols
dafyd
Posted: Apr 15 2009, 08:03 PM


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http://leperinastrangland.blogspot.com/200...rd-fidrych.html

I'd say more, but I must at least try and get some sleep tonight.


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Yogi
Posted: Apr 15 2009, 08:47 PM


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Thanks for the clip dafyd. "The Bird", Mark Fidrych was a real character as the clip points out. He brought entertainment to baseball during his brief career. Sadly injuries ended it too soon as his exact problem was not diagnosed as the clip details until many years later with improved medical technology. But while his career lasted it was fun watching. I was sad the other day when I read about his death due to the accident on his farm.
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dafyd
Posted: Apr 16 2009, 04:46 AM


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Living in Detroit, I was a high school student in 1976. I never got to a game that he pitched, but I sure did try and watch every televised game he was in.

Considering the team he had behind him, particularly the infield (other than Rodriquez at third) makes a Tigers fan drool over the thought of having Fidrych on the mound with Trammell and Whitaker behind him.


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raconteur
Posted: Apr 16 2009, 09:31 PM


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Hey don't make fun of Aurelio Rodriguez, he was the answer to a trivia question, "Which major league player's first name contains every vowel?"

I too was sad to read of Fidrych's death. His career was like a firework, it did not last long but was brilliant for while it lasted. He brought fun to the game and became a true overnight sensation before he slipped out of sight once more following his injury.
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Merengue
Posted: Apr 17 2009, 10:01 AM


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I do not know of Mark Fidrych as I was not in the US when he was an active player but I listened to the interview with him that dafyd linked. Sounds as if at the time of the interview (it looked like early 80's) he had still not come to grips with the early end to his athletic career. You hope as time went by that he eventually did come to accept it.

Sadly I read in today's paper about the cause of his accidental death, he was strangled by his own clothes as they got caught in a spinning part of the truck he was working on at the time.

RIP


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Yogi
Posted: Apr 17 2009, 10:18 AM


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What a gruesome death for Fidrych. That is sad to read. I seem to recall seeing something about him a decade or so ago and he was quite content with his post baseball career.

Hey dafyd, I'm with raconteur, don't make fun of Aurelio Rodriguez one of the best fielding third baseman ever. He may not have been much of a hitter but he was quite a gloveman.
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shelsoccer
Posted: Apr 17 2009, 01:55 PM


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Fidrych was the epitome of my generation (though a little younger). He was the sort of free spirit that the 1960's and '70's spawnded. I can still picture him talking to himself on the mound, talking to the resin bag, pounding his glove while still muttering. He was in his own world, oblivious to the stage and setting. It was never about attracting attention or about "me." It was simply who he was.

It was shame that injuries -- probably the result of over-use at too young of an age -- derailed his career.

It also should be noted that legendary Philly sportscaster, Harry Kalas, also passed away at about the same time. Not having lived in Philly, I never heard Harry call a game, but I do remember him as the voice of NFL Films.

He died of a heart attack in the broadcast booth a couple of hourse before going on the air. How fitting is that?
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Roosevelt
Posted: Apr 17 2009, 02:14 PM


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QUOTE (shelsoccer @ Apr 17 2009, 04:55 PM)


It was shame that injuries -- probably the result of over-use at too young of an age -- derailed his career.


Yeah. His big season, age 21, he pitched 24 [!] complete games. sad.gif


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dafyd
Posted: Apr 18 2009, 04:06 PM


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Wasn't making fun of Rodriguez, I pointed him out as the exception. It's the rest of that infield, particularly the middle, that was a joke. Tom Veryzer at short was adequate at best, and Garcia at second was an enigma... he'd make the most difficult of plays look easy, and then flub the easiest of grounders. Thompson at first was OK, but Mickey Stanley was better defensively.

Then there was the outfield, Staub was a solid fielder in right, but LeFlore in center was always a gamble. When Stanley was in left, can't complain about that. Thing was, that Mick didn't stick to one position that season. He played at least a few innings playing every position there is that season, except for pitcher and catcher. Regular leftfielder Alex Johnson, well, I can't say I even remember him.

Damn, hadn't heard/seen the actual cause of death. I figured that he was underneath the truck when the support gave way. As it was, he had time to realize what was happening.

As for the vid, it was from 1985.


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dafyd
Posted: Apr 18 2009, 04:32 PM


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QUOTE (Roosevelt @ Apr 17 2009, 06:14 PM)
QUOTE (shelsoccer @ Apr 17 2009, 04:55 PM)


It was shame that injuries -- probably the result of over-use at too young of an age -- derailed his career.


Yeah. His big season, age 21, he pitched 24 [!] complete games. sad.gif

It wasn't just the fact that he pitched 24 complete games, it was the fact that a few of those went longer than 9 innings... he had a few that went 11.

Still, his injuries didn't come in that first season. And the knee injury was Mark goofing off in the outfield during spring training. The shoulder, well, that can be argued both ways, but the theory at the time was that they brought him back too soon from the knee injury.

What was discovered by the docs years later was after another 7 years pitching with a bad wing (pun intended) in the minors.


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raconteur
Posted: May 12 2009, 09:30 PM


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Julio Mazzei a former championship winning coach of the New York Cosmos died in Brazil, age 78,

http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news?slug=ap-o...ov=ap&type=lgns

Mazzei according to the obituary was one of the people who convinced Pele to sign for the Cosmos.
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SuperEagle
Posted: May 16 2009, 07:17 AM


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While we are on the subject of obituaries for sports stars the former basketball player turned jazz musician Wayman Tisdale passed away from cancer at the age of 44.

Tisdale discovered his cancer after falling and breaking his leg, he later had that leg amputated but unfortunately it was not enough to stop the cancer.

RIP
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Martin
Posted: Jun 5 2009, 10:14 AM


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Former NBA all star guard Randy Smith passed away of an apparent heart attack at age 60.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Smith_(basketball)

Smith was a super quick guard and was an all american at soccer and basketball (plus track too) while at Buffalo State University. One of the first multi sports stars but back then his soccer exploits were rarely mentioned in the media.


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shelsoccer
Posted: Jun 5 2009, 11:04 AM


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Good recall, Martin. I'd forgotten about Smith's soccer background.

That's an often overlooked part of many athletes' background. I'm thinking of Earl Monroe, Cal Ripken and Grant Hill, just to name a few.

Heck, even John Kerry was a soccer player of note in college. During the 2004 campaign that kind of got swept under the rug in favor of his hockey exploits. Soccer Moms were passe by that point.
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Martin
Posted: Jul 1 2009, 10:36 AM


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Boxing legend Alexis Arguello died this morning of a gunshot wound. I did not know he was the mayor of Managua, Nicaragua. My Nicaraguan born wife took the loss quite hard as he was Nicaragua's greatest sporting hero. This morning reports were he comitted suicide but this article does not mention that:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090701/ap_on_...x_arguello_dead

I am not much of a boxing fan but always admired Arguello's style and ring savvy. I remember watching that first Aaron Pryor-Arguello fight and it was brutal, two fighters pounding one each other until Pryor knocked him out in the 14th round. Later it turned out Pryor was given some "mystery liquid" the round before and he was so strung out on coke you probably could have hit him with a sledgehammer and not hurt him! Arguello was a great fighter but i do not think he was ever the same afetr that Pryor fight.

RIP


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