One of the greatest characters in baseball history passed away today. Mark "The Bird" Fidrych was found dead at the age of 54. I was a young kid and just starting to love baseball when Mark burst into the spotlight in 1976. His career was cut way too short by injury, but he truly shined in 1976, going 19-9 with 24 complete games (out of 29 starts), posted a 2.34 ERA and 1.08 WHIP and was voted the AL Rookie of the Year. But it was his unique habits such as talking to the ball, jumping over chalk lines and grooming the dirt on the pitchers mound with his own hands. He was nicknamed "The Bird" due to his likeness of Big Bird, thus bringing about one of the great SI covers of all time. Baseball needs more players like "The Bird".