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October 1st of 1980 wasnt a particularly special day in Blue Jays history. It was the final home game of the regular season at o

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October 1st of 1980 wasnt a particularly special day in Blue Jays history. It was the final home game of the regular season at old Exhibition Stadium. The Jays were days away from wrapping up a 67-95 season. On this day, there were but 12,426 fans in the stands to watch the culmination of a fifth straight losing season. The fans on hand probably didnt even realize they were witnessing something special, something unique. Not the final score. Detroit out slugged the Blue Jays 11-7. So what was it about this game? Well it was the final start of the incredible, yet semi tragic career of Mark Fidrych. On this day the man-child they called the "Bird" went five innings giving up five runs, four of those earned. The Jays effectively ended his day by scoring four runs in the fifth. Ernie Whitt keying the rally with a three run homer, the last "Round Tripper" Fidrych would ever surrender. Fidrych gutted it out through that fifth inning and managed to get the win, to finish his season at (2-3). The starter for the Blue Jays that day was a 23-year-old Dave Stieb. He got torched for seven hits and six earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings and took the loss to fall to (12-15). Greatness was yet to come for Stieb who was in just his second season in the Majors, his first full campaign. For Fidrych, we were just left with memories and the lingering question of how great he might have been. Flash back to May 15th of 1976. The Tigers were home to Cleveland. Their scheduled starter that day had the flu. The manager, Ralph Houk "the Major" of Yankees fame, handed the ball to a 21-year-old long lanky right hander, who reminded a minor league coach of his at Lakeland of the legendary Sesame Street character "Big Bird". All Fidrych did was pitch a complete game two-hitter as he out-dueled Clevelands Pat Dobson in a 2-1 Tigers victory. There were 14,583 people on hand for the game. Remember that number. There were some great Blue Jays and Canadian baseball connections in that game. Rusty Staub was in right field for Detroit. Alan Ashby, a Blue Jay a year later was catching for Cleveland and the two DHs - the Tigers Willie Horton and the Indians Rico Carty - played with the Jays as well. For Fidrych this was only the beginning of one of most magical seasons in baseball history. After losing his next start at Fenway in yet another complete game, 2-0 to the great Luis Tiant, Fidrych would go on to reel off seven straight victories He was more than just a pitcher though, he was a fun loving unassuming kid who just loved playing the game. He would talk to the ball and carefully groom the mound before every inning. He caught the baseball world by storm. Fidrych appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice and was the first athlete ever to appear on the cover of "Rolling Stone" Magazine. In his first 13 starts, Fidrych worked an unbelievable 120 1/3 innings. If you do the math, thats over nine innings per start. How is that possible? Well three times over that span Houk let him go 11 innings. On June the 28th, he was featured in a Monday Night baseball national telecast, Fidrych beat the Yankees 5-1 in just an hour and 51 minutes. Fidrych would go on to start the All-Star game for the American League in his 12th Major League start. He would go on to finish the season at (19-9) for Detroit with a 2.34 ERA. But it was some of his other numbers that were truly astounding. Fidrych made 29 starts from mid-May till the end of the season. He pitched 24 complete games including four shutouts and pitched 250 1/3 innings. Pitchers today are proud just to hit 200 innings. On May 31st, he pitched a game that lasted one hour and 48 minutes. Then in his next start, he bested that taking just one hour and 46 minutes. Another unusual thing about Fidrych was he had his own personal catcher. He was 24- year-old Bruce Kimm, a rookie who played his first game with the Tigers just two weeks before Fidrych made his first start. They worked so well together in that first start Houk kept them as a battery all season. I dont know if that would ever happen today. As great as he was for Detroit that season, the Tigers still finished up the track at 74-87. Somehow, though he was voted Rookie of the Year, he didnt win the Cy Young too. That honour went to the Orioles Jim Palmer. But Fidrychs success on the diamond would be short lived. He injured his knee in the spring of 1977, and later in that season damaged his shoulder. Times being what they were, and medical advances in the treatment of arm injuries were still in their infancy, it wasnt discovered till 1985 that the "Bird" had a damaged rotator cuff. He finished his career with a (29-19) record and 3.10 ERA and 34 complete games in just 58 starts. This is the really incredible number. When Roger Clemens, one of the All-time greats pitched for the Blue Jays in 1997 and 1998, attendance barely increased on days he was on the mound at Rogers Centre. Yet in 1976, a year in which the Tigers drew 1,467,020 fans, more than half of that number showed up for the 18 games Fidrych pitched in. That is incredible. So if you were one of the few who were at Exhibition Stadium on Oct. 1, 1980 consider yourself lucky. You saw the final appearance of one of the most unique talents and colourful characters the baseball world has ever seen. Cheap Nellie Fox Jersey . Scotlands Greg Laidlaw made one of two penalty kicks and all three conversions, and Stuart Hogg added a try in the second half. "The most important thing to come out of the game is that we did not get scored against," Laidlaw said. Cheap Luis Aparicio Jersey . Vonn had another scary moment at Saturdays World Cup downhill in Val dIsere, ending up clutching her knee in pain after losing her balance and missing a gate. But she gave a reassuring answer shortly afterward, saying no new damage had been done to the surgically repaired knee, and that her plans for the Sochi Olympics were still intact. http://www.cheapwhitesoxjerseys.com/?tag...-crede-jersey.C. -- Al Jefferson knows few people will be giving the Charlotte Bobcats a chance to upset the Miami Heat in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Cheap Frank Thomas Jersey . City has reached new heights under manager Manuel Pellegrini as they transition from big spending/immediate impact to perennial contender. Yaya Toures seeming discontent Tuesday may complicate that, as does the little issue of Financial Fair Play. Cheap Bill Melton Jersey ." The game can be seen live on TSN starting with Monday Night Countdown at 6:30 p.m et/3:30 p.m. pt. The Patriots, who had a bye in Week 10, will look to continue the offensive success they had a week earlier when New England scored 55 points and racked up 610 yards of total offense in a 55-31 drubbing of the Pittsburgh Steelers.(SportsNetwork.com) - The Charlotte Hornets are still waiting for the Lance Stephenson experiment to pay major dividends and will try to stop a nine-game losing streak Wednesday versus the visiting Chicago Bulls. The Hornets have three straight chances at home to stop the losing streak and will also host New York and Boston. They have lost five in a row at home and are 3-6 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Stephenson and the Hornets are coming off Saturdays 105-75 beatdown at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks, and the first-year Hornet had just six points, three assists and three rebounds in 23 minutes. Stephenson has scored in single digits three times over the last four games and is posting an average of 9.6 points and a team-high 7.7 rebounds with 5.4 assists. Charlotte landed Stephenson this offseason in hopes of heading back to the postseason playing alongside Al Jefferson. Jefferson has kept up his end of the bargain and recorded 11 points against the Hawks. Jefferson leads the Hornets with 20.0 points The Hornets shot 33 percent and made only 5-of-23 3-pointers against the Hawks. P.J. Hairston scored 15 points and Gerald Henderson netted 14 for the Hornets, who were coming off close losses to Golden State and Portland. The Hornets were down by more than 40 points in the second half. Right now it doesnt matter what you tweak if you dont show up and play, Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said. You have to give a professional effort, and that was not a professional effort. Cliffordss squad is off to a disappointing 4-14 start.dddddddddddd Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (foot), Marvin Williams (shoulder) and Gary Neal (shoulder) are still bothered by injuries. Williams and Neal are questionable versus the Bulls. Charlotte lost 10 in a row from Feb. 20-March 9, 2013. After a quick stop at home, the Bulls are back on the road, where they went 4-3 on an annual circus trip. The Bulls dropped a 132-129 double-overtime decision to the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday at the United Center. The Bulls needed a 34-28 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter to send the game into an extra period and both teams put up 13 points in the first OT. Mavs guard Monta Ellis scored a season-high 38 points and was clutch from the foul line to send the game into another stanza. Ellis buried a big 3-pointer in the second OT to fend off Chicago, which was led by Pau Gasols 29 points and 14 rebounds. It would have felt better if we won the game, Gasol said of his night. Unfortunately we lost. Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Mike Dunleavy added 20 and Derrick Rose finished with 10 and 10 assists. Rose banked in a 3-pointer as time expired in the first overtime. Chicago, which shot 45.6 percent and had 50-36 edge in the paint, will return home for three games versus Golden State, Brooklyn and Portland. The Bulls won three of four meetings with Charlotte last season and are 10-2 in the last 12 games in this series. Chicago has won six of the last eight trips to the Tar Heel State. 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