Ode To The Bird - Poem by Joe Rosochacki
How people flocked to see him pitch.
He was tall and lanky, fidgety, a Detroit Tiger was known as the ‘Bird’.
How sorely he will be missed.
He was often described as eccentric, crazy, de-de-de and in fact weird.
I often would see him on the TV on Tiger Baseball with Al Kaline,
- or listen WJR-760’s Ernie Harwell for a switch,
My dad seemed to be amused by you,
His viewpoint was shared by a lot; more than a few.
Call it superstition, not to be confused with another Detroit superstar,
Little Stevie Wonder,
He talked to with the baseball, he did not step on the baseline
He would crouch down on the pitcher's mound and fix cleat marks, what became known as 'manicuring the mound', talk to himself, talk to the ball, aim the ball like a dart, strut around the mound after every out, and throw back balls that 'had hits in them, ' insisting they be removed from the game.
Somehow baseball would never be the same,
He was born in the same year as I was,
For him fame was fleeting after five years at which point he ran out of luck,
Injuries kept from the game,
he wound up in Massachusetts,
On a farm right next the place he grew up in,
Last Monday, April 13th,2009,
--he was found dead lying beneath his 10 wheel dump truck.
He’ll be missed,
For the five years he gave entertaining us and to top it off being Rookie of the Year,
So sad, the Spirit of Detroit shed more than a tear.
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