Back in 1985, Sports Illustrated ran a story about a pitcher at the Met's spring traning facility who was a top secret, fireball throwing phenom.
The article had pictures of the tall, skinny pitcher throwing the ball wearing one shoe and, if I recall correctly, pictures of him pitching in full
mets gear, save one cleat, which was replaced with a work boot. The pitcher, Hayden "Sidd" Finch threw the ball as high as 168 miles an hour with
frightening accuracy. Finch wasn't sure if he wanted to pitch but, having "learned the art of pitching," he figured he'd give it a shot. One
week after the article appeared in SI, a short blurb appeared, explaining that the pitcher's self imposed deadline for deciding if he wanted to play
professional baseball had come and at a press conference he announced he was not going to play. He then apologized to the catchers for the pain he
inflicted in their catching hands.
I remember reading the article as a kid and, being a huge Met fan, I was freaked out. I was 16 and the Mets were slowly turning the team around and
this phenom was going to ensure a world series win. the way they talked about him, you envisioned him pitching every day, with each game being a
Several years later, in college, "Sidd Finch" became the name we gave to new freshman rushing our fraternity who we thought might be the needed
piece for one of our teams to lock in a fraternity championship and, hopefully, the coveted Riese Cup (frat championship thing that, apparently, was a
Well, Sports Illustrated has put every issue in their archives online and, with the 23rd anniversay of Hayden "Sidd" Finch's coming out party fast
approaching, I thought I'd mention it.
Here's the link:
oh, one last, very important thing to note. George Plimpton's article appeared in the April 1, 1985 issue. That's right, it was all a joke. A
hell of an April Fool's Day prank that was so well done that the magazine eventually had to admit it was a prank. Seems a hell of a lot of people
believed the story.