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The Fidrych Monday Night game is on

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Born almost a decade after Fidrych blew up so never experienced his craze and quite frankly I never really studied up much about it so with that said not saying that this compares to him but I remember when Hideo Nomo came to the States,  for awhile it he was a major craze and had a little "Nomomania" to him.  There was a point where every one of his starts would end up being nationally broadcast.

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Yeah, Nomo was pretty big when he first came over.

But that had to do with the novelty rather than being driven by his exuberance or antics.

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Aaron Judge isn't a character but NYY fans (burn in hades, all a yooz) sure got into his rookie campaign

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Remember joltin Joe Charboneau? Ron Kittle looked like Jimmie Foxx out of the gate. Kevin Maas. Wally Joyner had a heckuva start. But I agree, Fidrych and Fernando had an extra level of buzz about them. 

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How about Cecil Fielder?  I was only 7 or 8 at the time so I only have vague memories of it but from what I can remember him coming out of nowhere and hitting 51HRs was a huge story.  And looking back at highlights the stands seem to be packed despite the Tigers being mediocre that year, I'm sure Cecil was a big reason why.   

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How about guys that came in with major hype but didn't quite deliver? Greg Jeffries was the first name to pop into my head

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2 minutes ago, RandyMarsh said:

How about Cecil Fielder?  I was only 7 or 8 at the time so I only have vague memories of it but from what I can remember him coming out of nowhere and hitting 51HRs was a huge story.  And looking back at highlights the stands seem to be packed despite the Tigers being mediocre that year, I'm sure Cecil was a big reason why.   

Cecil was a beast. I still watch some of his dingers on youtube 

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6 minutes ago, leflore said:

How about guys that came in with major hype but didn't quite deliver? Greg Jeffries was the first name to pop into my head

Todd Van Poppel.  David Clyde was before my time.  Clint Hurdle as well.

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It had been 15 years since someone slugged 50 HR, so that was a big deal.

The Sosa/McGwire chase was much bigger nationally.

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8 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Todd Van Poppel.  David Clyde was before my time.  Clint Hurdle as well.

Yeah VP was hyped as the next Nolan Ryan

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38 minutes ago, RandyMarsh said:

How about Cecil Fielder?  I was only 7 or 8 at the time so I only have vague memories of it but from what I can remember him coming out of nowhere and hitting 51HRs was a huge story.  And looking back at highlights the stands seem to be packed despite the Tigers being mediocre that year, I'm sure Cecil was a big reason why.   

Yeah, Fielder was a good one.  That first year with the Tigers was pretty special.  

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5 hours ago, leflore said:

Remember joltin Joe Charboneau? Ron Kittle looked like Jimmie Foxx out of the gate. Kevin Maas. Wally Joyner had a heckuva start. But I agree, Fidrych and Fernando had an extra level of buzz about them. 

Vida Blue burst onto the scene a few years before Fidrych.  Went 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA as a 21 year old in 1971.  I saw Blue start a game at Tiger Stadium in 1974, the 2nd I ever attended, and there was still a buzz around him. 

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Dave Rozema's rookie season, the year after Fidrych's, was memorable. He was Fidrych-lite. Quirky but not as quirky. Good but not as good. 15-7 with a 3.82 ERA as a 20-year old in 1977 on another bad Tigers team.

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16 hours ago, lordstanley said:

Fidrych was the first baseball player to ever appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

There's a book about Fidrych, The Bird: Life and Legacy written a few years ago, that describes Fidrych's one-game stint in the ABC broadcasting booth late in the injury-shortened 1977 season which his PBP partner Al Michaels thought was a bit of a disaster, although I think it sounds hilarious. Michaels would ask him what he thought about a player, like Richie Hebner for example, and Fidrych would say who the **** is he. What pitch would you throw in this situation? How the **** would I know.  Do you consider this guy a good fastball hittter? Beats me. And on and on.

The book also describes what a grump Joe Falls was towards Fidrych. No surprise there, Falls always struck me as having contempt for many of the subjects of his columns.

You know, John Kruk is another guy that had a pretty fun loving persona as a player that didn't seem to translate well to formal commentating.  I have to think when that happens, a player is told to apply a filter but still be that personality, and it just doesn't work that way.  Or perhaps the lights get brighter as commentator and they have to stretch that 5-10 minute player interview out to 3 hours.

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10 hours ago, tiger337 said:

Yes, I was going to mention him.  Has there been anyone since then that came close?

Chris Shelton.

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Formal commenting requires a lot of research / prep to do it well independent of the commenter's persona.  Otherwise you get the same stories and cliches repeated ad naseum, and that gets tired regardless.

I see you, Rod.

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13 hours ago, lordstanley said:

Vida Blue burst onto the scene a few years before Fidrych.  Went 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA as a 21 year old in 1971.  I saw Blue start a game at Tiger Stadium in 1974, the 2nd I ever attended, and there was still a buzz around him. 

I thought Blue was going to be a HOFer. Had a very good career. I believe he was a pre-FA salary hold out after that '71 season. I didn't start watching baseball until '72 but I remember that being in the news.

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13 hours ago, lordstanley said:

Dave Rozema's rookie season, the year after Fidrych's, was memorable. He was Fidrych-lite. Quirky but not as quirky. Good but not as good. 15-7 with a 3.82 ERA as a 20-year old in 1977 on another bad Tigers team.

Rozema was from my area. I saw him pitch in high school - was a big deal in GR. Iirc he lost out on ROY to Butch Wyneger. Or maybe mlb had 2 roy for each league then - pitcher and position player?

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19 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Joe Charboneau is the same time frame as Fernando but was less of a thing.

I missed that you posted about Joe before I did. I recall a lot of hype about Joe and iirc he too was a bit of a character. I don't recall if his career was derailed due to injury but he certainly fell off a cliff starting with a sophomore jinx

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He strained his back opening a beer bottle with his eye socket.  

  • Haha 1

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