Re: Surprise 41 year old rookie may earn chance to close for Reds
Sidd Finch was the subject of a notorious article by George Plimpton in the April 1, 1985 issue of Sports Illustrated.
Sidd (short for Siddhartha) Finch was supposedly a rookie baseball pitcher in training with the New York Mets. Finch, who had never played baseball before, was attempting to decide between a sports career and one playing the French horn. What was astonishing about Finch was that he could pitch a fastball at an amazing 168 mph, far above the record of a mere 103 mph. He also wore only one shoe when pitching.
Finch grew up in an English orphanage and was adopted by an archaeologist who later died in a plane crash in Nepal. After briefly attending Harvard University, he went to Tibet to learn "yogic mastery of mind-body", which was the source of his pitching prowess.
The subhead of the article read: "He's a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse. Impressively liberated from our opulent life-style, Sidd's deciding about yoga —and his future in baseball." The first letters of these words spells out "Happy April Fools Day". Despite this clue and the obvious absurdity of the article, many people believed Finch actually existed. The magazine announced it was a hoax on April 15.
The story was accompanied by photographs of Finch, including one of him talking with the Mets' actual pitching coach, Mel Stottlemyre. The Mets cooperated with the hoax, even providing a uniform for Joe Berton, a junior high school teacher from Oak Park, Illinois who posed as "Finch" for the photographs.
Plimpton broadened his article into a novel, first published in 1987.
Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun