SI Vault
A fat record made to thin applause
Ron Fimrite
September 13, 1971
In any serious consideration of the Detroit Tigers' beer-bellied Mickey Lolich, the American League's "other lefthander," several popular misconceptions must be discarded:
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September 13, 1971

A Fat Record Made To Thin Applause

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The number of pitches he throws and the number of innings he pitches are testimony to his extraordinary durability. Lolich has never experienced any serious arm trouble. One possible explanation for the continued good health of his left arm is that about the only thing he ever does with it is throw baseballs.

"I'm really right-handed," he says. "I can't do a thing left-handed except throw. Or maybe bowl. I write right-handed, I eat right-handed and I even bat right-handed."

The accident that made Lolich a lefty happened when he was about two years old and living in Portland, Ore. little Mickey imprudently rammed a parked motorcycle with his tricycle. The big bike toppled onto him, breaking his collarbone. The therapy afterward got him accustomed to using the arm for throwing things. The accident also left him with a strange attachment to motorcycles, one not shared by his mother, who was terrified of them. Because of her refusal to allow one near the house, Lolich didn't buy his first bike until he turned 21. He now has five, including one for his wife Joyce.

Like his mom, the Tigers were not especially delighted when their star lefthander first thundered into the stadium parking lot aboard one of his machines. But Lolich has proselyted well; at least six of his teammates are now ardent cyclists. " Mickey Stanley and I once took a jump together and touched handlebars in midair," Lolich recalls with relish. "Now, that's what's known as flying in close formation."

Unbeery Mickey Lolich has been flying high all season, but the only one close to him anymore is Vida Blue. It's always somebody.

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