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Sunday, April 01, 2012

Sidd Finch at 25

Unlike Robin, I have no good April Fool's Day jokes. The only thing this April Fool's Day is doing is reminding me that I'm 2-3 days behind last year's pace in Civ Pro. Last year, my Civ Pro students marked AFD by "teaching" the clas--and we already were two days into Personal Jurisdiction, while this year I'm just finishing subject matter.

But I can point out that today marks the 25th anniversary of one of the great April Fools jokes in publishing: Sports Illustrated's publication of The Curious Case of Sidd Finch. This long-form essay by George Plimpton told the story of a mysterious pitcher in the Mets training camp. Finch had spent much of his adult life living a spiritual life in the mountains of Tibet, practiced yoga, and briefly attended Harvard; he also could throw a 160-mph fastball. It turns out the first letter of each word in the sub-head ("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") spells out "Happy April Fools Day." The piece triggered a tidal wave of letters and canceled subscriptions (one of my favorites simply read "Ha, ha. Cancel my subscription."), especially from tortured Mets fans. And it's even kind of law-related, since it mentions Lenny Dykstra, then a minor leaguer, ultimately a Mets star, and more recently a convicted felon and con man.

 

Posted by Howard Wasserman on April 1, 2012 at 02:04 PM in Howard Wasserman | Permalink

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