The most newsworthy newcomer in baseball in 1976 was Mark Fidrych. At age 21, he burst onto the scene with a 19-9 record, league-leading 2.34 ERA, an All-Star berth, AL Rookie of the Year honors and second place in the Cy Young voting to Jim Palmer. He brought some color to the game and attracted legions of fans.
I wasn't following baseball or buying baseball cards in '76, but I couldn't escape the media frenzy that accompanied every outing of "The Bird" in his rookie season.
You can't blame Topps for not including Fidrych in its 1976 set. He was only in his third year of professional ball and the Tigers had been searching for his role, reliever or starter, as Fidrych had been searching for control.
The only baseball cards issued of Fidrych in 1976 were some Mike Schecter Associates discs.
I like working in the 1976-Topps format, so when one of the followers of my custom card making suggested creating a '76T Fidrych, it seemed like a good idea.
For as hot as Fidrych was in the early years of his all-too-brief career, I was surprised to find there really aren't a lot of suitable color photos that match the "look" of a 1976 Topps Tigers card. I tried half a dozen before determining to go with what you see here.