A clown since age three, active Mark Fidrych was always ""better at sports than at schoolwork"" and at nineteen he was drafted by the Tigers from a two-dollar-an-hour gas station job. On the diamond, Burchard emphasizes Mark's crazy antics, talking to the ball, reputed resemblance to Sesame Street's Big Bird, and enthusiastic fans. Her conclusion: ""He brought new spirit to America's favorite game in the Bicentennial year. It is too soon to know whether or not Mark Fidrych will be an all-time great pitcher."" Yes, and meanwhile neither the reported goofing nor the dumb clutch of photos (coaches Mark has had, buildings he has passed through) convey the pitcher's appeal as Burchard's Nadia Comaneci (below) does the gymnast's.