Sidd Finch, Sports Illustrated And Westport: The Back Story

It’s April Fools Day.

I may or may not have tricked you this morning, with my Keith Richards-teasing post.

But that’s nothing compared to what Sports Illustrated did on April 1, 1985.

The magazine — at the time, a must read for sports fans everywhere — published a cover story on Sidd Finch.

Sidd Finch. George Plimpton wrote that he liked to pitch with a boot on one foot, the other barefoot.

He was — according to writer George Plimpton -= a New York Mets pitcher who threw an astonishing 168 miles an hour. He was a Harvard graduate. He practiced yoga and played the French horn. He was a recluse.

He also did not exist. It was a hoax. (The first letters of each word in the opening paragraph spelled out “Happy April Fool’s Day.”)

But so much about the story seemed real. Including Sidd Finch’s dorm room at Harvard.

In reality, it belonged to Rob Hagebak. He was a 1982 Staples High School graduate — and the stepson of SI’s deputy art director, Westporter Rick Warner.

And that’s the God’s honest truth.

Sidd Finch/Rob Hagebak’s Harvard dorm room.

(Hat tip: Ted Gangi)


7 responses to “Sidd Finch, Sports Illustrated And Westport: The Back Story

  1. I read the story in a Doctor’s waiting room and was completely taken in! it was Sports Illustrated after all..

  2. Hags !!!!

  3. Joseph F McCambley

    This was the best April Fool’s joke ever. I remember being so sad that some kid I’d never heard of could throw a ball twice as fast as me.

  4. Joseph F McCambley

    Twice as fast as I?

  5. Fred Cantor

    That’s very cool to hear the Westport connection. (And, while I don’t know what kind of baseball player Rob H was back in the day, I know he was a superb soccer player.)

  6. James Weisz

    Dan. A minor additional Westport connection. Rob “Hags” Hageback was one of my college roommates senior year, the year after this spoof.

  7. I happened to have been down watching Mets spring training the day that story broke. The excitement about it–and what a great gotcha it was–was palpable. One of the great stunts.