I was too young for his one-hit wonder of a year, but they showed one of his old games against the Yankees on the MLB network late the other night.
What I remember best though is that back in my old suburb he was a client of my mother's boss. I never met him or anything, but my mother says he was a sweet guy, humble about his success (this would have been twelve or so years later) and just the kind of guy you'd hope he'd be - including a little strange.
As a kid, my parents LOVED the Tigers and when we moved to Michigan, he had already been off to the DL. Luckily, we were able to go see one of his comeback games against the Brewers. The Brew Crew shelled him, and he left after four or five innings, but as a kid, I had never been in a crowd that hot. He was a wonder and a great talent. Damn shame he blew his arm (and perhaps his head) out so young. RIP Bird.
...but seriously, folks, how would the Red Sox Nation of Domination (tm) react at the end of the season if the Yankees ALSO missed the playoffs? We still take equal pleasure in the failings of the Yankees, right?