DA: Pitcher Fidrych Suffocated Under Truck
Legendary Ballplayer Found Dead Monday
UPDATED: 3:25 pm EDT April 16, 2009
Investigators believe legendary pitcher Mark Fidrych, who was found dead at his Massachusetts farm on Monday, was asphyxiated when his clothes became tangled in the moving parts of his truck's engine, according to the Worcester County district attorney.
Fidrych, 54, was found underneath a 10-wheel Mack dump truck at his property in Northborough. An autopsy performed this week found that Fidrych died of accidental asphyxia by suffocation when his clothes were pulled into the truck's power takeoff shaft, according to district attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.The All-Star pitcher became a fan favorite across the country during two seasons with the Detroit Tigers. Fidrych was an eccentric ballplayer who was known to whisper to the baseball before throwing his pitches and clear dirt around the mound between innings.
Although his career was cut short by a series of injuries, Fidrych, nicknamed the Bird, won the AL Rookie of the Year award in 1976, going 19-9 with a 2.34 ERA and pitching 24 complete games for the Tigers. He went on to win 10 more games before being sidelined during his second season.Fidrych's family will hold visitation hours at the First Parish Unitarian Church in Northborough on Thursday. A funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday at the church.Fidrych is survived by his wife, Ann, and daughter, Jessica.
on Apr. 16, 2009 at 3:46 PM