“There’s no single sport that has the hold on our dreams and fantasies the way baseball does. Sidd has become a symbol, like the cornfield in Iowa.”
— Myra Gelband, former Sports Illustrated editor
In an era when Hollywood was creating uniformed ballplayers walking out of cornfields and crushing majestic moon shots in to the New York City sky, the famed George Plimpton was busy crafting a fictional baseball character too: Hayden “Sidd” Finch.
He was born on April 1, 1985 by the hand (and mind) of Plimpton and, for at least a day, Finch was real. But, in reality, Sidd Finch was pure fiction. Plimpton’s intentions were clear: entertain the reader. If his intentions were to create a plausible baseball player he wouldn’t have dreamed up a 168-mile per hour fastball …
Or would he?
“If you read it carefully, some of the stuff is just ludicrous, not to mention, the speed of the ball,” said Lane Stewart, the former Sports Illustrated photographer assigned to illustr...