Monday, April 13, 2009

Mark Fidrych

BOSTON (AP) — Whether he was dominating hitters or hauling asphalt, Mark Fidrych had fun.

The colorful pitcher talked to baseballs, smoothed the mound with his hands and high-fived teammates in the middle of the diamond. He had one terrific season in 1976, and after injuries curtailed his career — just five years in the majors with the Detroit Tigers — he lived on his farm in Northborough, Mass., where he enjoyed driving his truck and using it for building projects.

On Monday, Fidrych was found dead beneath a 10-wheel dump truck by Joseph Amorello, a friend and owner of a road construction company who sometimes hired Fidrych. He was 54.

"Everybody wanted him on their crew," Amorello said in a telephone interview. "He was a hard worker, but, at the same time, he always had a smile on his face."

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