DETROIT – Check out this 1976 interview with then-Detroit Tigers rookie Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, who was asked about his mound antics, including talking to the baseball, after his second career MLB start.
Local 4′s Sean Forsyth was digging through the archives when he came across this interview from May 26, 1976. Fidrych had tossed a complete game the day before, allowing two runs in an eight-inning loss to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
It was just Fidrych’s second career start and fourth appearance overall, but already his unique mound antics were becoming a hot topic around Detroit.
Former Local 4 reporter Jim Forney spoke with Fidrych about his pitching style and unique on-field behavior.
Forney asked Fidrych if his actions were deliberate.
“No, that’s just the way I keep my mind in the game,” Fidrych said. “Other people have their ways of doing things. That’s my way of doing it, I guess.”
“Okay, Big Bird, we have a baseball, and you do very funny things with that ball,” Forney said. “When you talk on a mound, not only do you throw strikes, fortunately, but when you’re on the mound, are you talking only to the baseball, really now Mark?”
“No, no, I’m keeping my mind in the game,” Fidrych said. “I might look at the ball, but I’m just keeping my mind in the game, saying, you know, if I get the ball where I’m going to go with it."
You can watch the entire interview in the video above.