Category: Sports

Do You Remember the Sports Illustrated’s April Fool’s Day Prank of 1985?

Sidd Fynch

“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.”

That’s how the article entitled, “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch” started.  It was a 13-page review of a young, unknown baseball pitching phenom named Sidd Finch.  What followed was one of the strangest stories in the history of sports in general, and Sports Illustrated in particular.

No one could believe what they were reading.  This strange young man who pitched while wearing a single work boot on his right foot and could throw the ball at an unheard of speed of 168 mph!  But none of it was real.  It was all an elaborate April Fool’s Day hoax perpetrated by writer George Plimpton and Sports Illustrated.

Fans who read the article couldn’t believe that the Mets had stumbled onto this player.  A couple of team owners called the Commissioner asking how their batters could face Finch safely.  Several major news agencies sent reporters to Florida trying to get an interview.  The nation at large fell for it, hook…line…and sinker.

The following week in their April 8th issue, Sports Illustrated printed a smaller article announcing Finch’s retirement.  In the April 15th issue, they plainly revealed it had all been a hoax.  They had actually made it known that it was a hoax via a code in the original article.  Check out the first letters of the first words from the article that I used at the start of this post.  It spells out HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY.

Go back in time and relive the fun of the article by clicking below.  It’s a reprint of the article from the Sports Illustrated’s magazine dated April 1, 1985.

The Curious Case of Sidd Finch

Opening Old Packs of Baseball Cards

Baseball Cards

With a new season of baseball starting, I find myself reminiscing about the good old days of collecting and trading baseball cards with my friends.  It was an annual summer event in our little neighborhood, and probably the most fun thing about the hobby, was opening a new pack of cards.

You never knew what you would find inside, even though your were always hopeful of getting a superstar card, a rookie card, or some special insert.  Well, to relieve that fun feeling, I pulled some old packs of cards out of my collection and opened them.  I filmed the opening of each pack, and though you might enjoy seeing what treasures were found inside.  If that tickles your fancy, watch the videos below, and then feel free to leave a comment sharing your own memories of tearing open a new wax pack.

1988 Topps Baseball

 

1989 Donruss Baseball

 

1989 Fleer’s Baseball’s Greatest Gross Outs

The Buffalo Bills’ Dramatic History in the Playoffs

 

 

This past Sunday evening, the Buffalo Bills qualified for the NFL playoffs for the first time since 1999.  The team doesn’t appear to be a real Superbowl contender on the surface, but then again, stranger things have happened.  Like back in 1993, twenty five years ago today on January 03, when they were a wildcard team and had to face the offensive powerhouse Houston Oilers.  And they had to do it without their starting quarterback Jim Kelly, their starting tailback Thurman Thomas, and one of their best linebackers, Cornelius Bennett.  At least they were getting to play in their home stadium though.

My old man and myself decided to watch the game that afternoon.  My Dad was just a casual football fan and rarely watched a game unless it was the Superbowl, and even then I think it was just because it was a national event, and not because he personally enjoyed it so much.  As for me, I was really getting into football at that point, and watched full games every week, and was excited for all the playoff match ups.  What we thought was going to be just an enjoyable playoff game, turned out to be one of the most exciting NFL games ever played, and featured the greatest comeback in NFL playoff history.

 

 

At halftime, with the score being 35 – 3 in favor of the Houston Oilers, my Dad decided he had seen enough, and changed the channel to some western movie most likely.  Even though the game was a blowout, I decided I wanted to keep watching it and headed off to my bedroom to see the rest of it.

As the Bills started their comeback and continued to rack up points, I tried to keep my Dad informed by yelling from the bedroom to the living room, “THE BILLS JUST GOT A TOUCHDOWN!  IT’S 35 – 10!”.  “THE BILLS GOT AN ONSIDE KICK!”.  “THE BILLS JUST GOT ANOTHER TOUCHDOWN!!!  IT’S 35- 17!!!”.  It wasn’t until they had come all the way back and took the lead that he became interested once again and changed the channel back to the game.  I rejoined him and we watched the closing moments of regulation where the Oilers tied the game with a field goal with just a few seconds left.

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