The Curious Case Of Sidd Finch

The WBC and spring training are finished (and what a great WBC it was for Otani and Samurai Japan), so it is now time to play ball for MLB. Growing up in Georgia it was always the Atlanta Braves who interested the fans down South. I remember in the 1980’s rooting for Dale Murphy, Bob Horner, and the great Phil “Knucksie” Niekro who was known for his famous knuckleball pitch. There was a story that came out on April 1, 1985 from the New York Mets training camp that was written in Sports Illustrated about a rather peculiar pitcher. His name was Sid Finch, and legend was that he could throw a ball 158 mph (270 kph). He was said to have spent time in Tibetan monastery  learning how focus and learn his inner chi.  He would spend hours doing yoga and playing the French horn. He was very reclusive and would practice in secret away from his teammates. One afternoon he gave an audition to his manager and a couple of players. He came out of the dugout with his hat turned backwards, wearing a heavy work boot on one foot, and the other one was barefoot. He threw straight-armed looking like a catapult. The radar gun said 158 mph as the catcher yelped in pain. Everyone was astonished by what they saw and the rumors spread throughout the club. It seemed too good to be true. And in reality, it was. This story was simply an April Fool’s joke gone well.