Tribute to one Bird on draft day in the year of the Birds

5 thoughts on “Tribute to one Bird on draft day in the year of the Birds”

  1. I was a big Kansas City Royals fan back in that day, but was enamored of Fidrych. He just amazed me by being both a good pitcher and seemingly a wild-eyed nutcase at the same time. I was only about 10 years old at the time, but baseball was my world and I remember the Royals of 1975-1985 almost like it happened yesterday.

    I remember Fidrych pitched two huge games vs. KC in Detroit his rookie year of ’76. He beat the Royals one night and I seem to recall that game was “Bird vs. Bird,” Kansas City’s Doug Bird vs. THE Bird. Then later in the summer, Dennis Leonard beat him in an amazing pitcher’s duel, 1-0.

    Wow, that was when baseball was GOOD. When complete games weren’t an outright rarity and the thought of giving up three earned runs in six innings as a “quality start” would be laughable.

  2. It also was when racing was GOOD, when The Bird’s 1976 rookie season was sandwiched betwwen a 1973 Triple Crown Winner and a 1977 and 1978 TC winner, an age when Forego in 1976 at age 6 could win a Marlboro Cup for the ages at 1 1/4 miles with 137 pounds — with an ankle the size of a grapefruit.

  3. i’m 49 Glenn, so I’ve got a few on you….to tell you the truth, I enjoy the baseball and the racing the same now as I did in the ’70s.

    what’s interesting about the athletes in both sports during the span late ’80s to early ’00s is the similar physical ballooning that took place. the overall population of hitters got bigger and faster, which really put pressure on pitchers; the overall population of horses also got bigger and faster, which put pressure on each other and their legs. Both became somewhat cartoonish — heavily muscled, massive-bodied.

    the results: pitchers, as you noted, don’t stay as far in games; likewise, horses don’t stay as far in races, and as sound, maybe.

    one cause was drugs in both sports, but it looks like that has shifted back; also, the advent of synthetic tracks and increased popularity of turf racing appears to be placing greater emphasis on putting more stamina back in pedigrees, and these types are usually lighter-made horses. and as the physiques of both athletes come back into line, we may once again see both pitchers and racehorses stay farther.

    notable that recent mvps or cy young winners include dustin pedroia (5’7″” at best) and Tim Lincecum (5′ 10″, 165) and recent Derby winner is a small-sized gelding.

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