MARK FIDRYCH, SP, TIGERS, 1976
Few players ever captured the imagination the way Mark Fidrych did as a rookie for the Detroit Tigers. From his antics like talking to the baseball and grooming the mound with his hands, he was a player like no other. From that point, Fidrych became a phenomenon. He made the All Star Game, and finished the year with a 19-9 record, leading the American League with a 2.34 ERA and 24 complete games. He was second in the Cy Young balloting that year and won the Rookie of the Year award. A major star, his 18 home starts accounted for half of Detroit’s attendance that year. However, that workload caught up with Fidrych. He felt his arm go dead in the middle of his ninth start the following year, effectively ending his career. Mark Fidrych burned like a comet, only to flame out due to overwork. About a decade later, when his career was over, he was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff, which had been exacerbated by his heavy workload.