March 28th in baseball history: The tale of Sidd Finch

Baseball or French horn

EVERYWHERE, USA | MARCH 28, 1985 - The April 1, 1985 issue of Sports Illustrated hit the news stands and mailboxes on this date (the issues always come out a few days early) with the story of Sidd Finch, a New York Mets pitching prospect scouts said could throw 168 MPH with pinpoint accuracy. The article also said Finch never played ball before mastering the art of pitching in a Tibetan monastery.

As the story written by George Plimpton unfolded at the Mets spring training camp, anticipation was building as to whether Finch would decide between a baseball career and a career playing the French horn.

April Fools!

There was no Sidd Finch. There was no French horn. There was no monastery doubling as a pitching school. It was entirely the imagination of George Plimpton. The pictures of Sidd were actually those of a Junior High School science teacher from Oak Park, Illinois named Joe Berton who was a friend of Plimpton's.

Sports Illustrated finally admitted it was a hoax on April 15. Some saw through the absurdity of the tale. Thousands did not.

The complete Sports Illustrated Sidd Finch article:

Contributing sources:
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