On This Day In History: “The Bird” Dies after a farming accident with his Mack truck.
Mark Steven Fidrych, nicknamed “The Bird”, was a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Detroit Tigers for five seasons.
Fidrych became a sensation during his rookie season with a record of 19 wins and 9 losses. He had a league-leading 2.34 ERA and 24 completed games.
How did he acquire the nickname, The Bird? Well, his teammates thought he had a familiar resemblance to the Sesame Street favorite, Big Bird.
His years as a MLB pitcher ended after numerous injuries kept him off the pitcher’s mound. After his attempted comeback with the Red Sox in 1982, he officially retired and went on to own a trucking business.
In 2009, on this very day, a friend reportedly found The Bird pinned underneath one of his Mack trucks. “It appeared he had been doing some maintenance.”
The Bird’s clothing became entangled in the power takeoff shaft and suffocated. The 1976 American League Rookie of the Year died at the age of 54.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated more than 168 people were killed by falling vehicles in 2007.
‘About 29 percent (168 of 588) of the noncrash fatalities involved people who were pinned or trapped under vehicles, usually while working on passenger vehicles that fell from their supports,’ says NHTSA in the report.
The Worcester, Massachusetts, medical examiner ruled the death as accidental, even though many believed it could have been avoided per stricter safety regulations.
Mack Trucks, Inc. began as a former trolley and bus manufacturer and didn’t assemble its first truck in 1907.
The company was created by the Mack Brothers and rightfully so, the company was called the Mack Brothers Company in its beginning years.
Although originally founded in Brooklyn, New York, headquarters is now located in Greensboro, North Carolina.
In 2013, Mack became the first U.S. manufacturer to achieve SEP Superior Energy Performance) Platinum Mature Energy Pathway certification, and produces its parts in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Venezuela and Australia.