The Curious Case of Sidd Finch
By George Plimpton
Published by De Cappo Press
Copyright © 2004
Originally an April Fool’s Day Hoax article written by Plimpton and published by Sports Illustrated with the aid of the New York Mets, after seeing the public’s response George Plimpton turned it into a novel.
A burned out Vietnam War reporter seeking solitude on the Florida coast happens upon the find of the century, when he is mistakenly invited on a blimp ride above the New York Mets Spring Training facilities. He learns that the Mets have a pitching phenom in camp who can throw 168 mph. Did this come from years of little league, high school, and college baseball preparation? No, he knows little to nothing about baseball. He is an eccentric, extremely intelligent, French horn playing, Englishman who while searching for his father in Tibet mastered Buddhist skills of meditation and concentration that can improve a specific physical ability; in his case he can throw things with unerring control and extreme velocity. In a strange twist of fate Sidd and his new girlfriend end up staying with the reporter, whom they call “Owl,” and the three form a special bond. After some indecision Sidd does pitch for the Mets, but the decisions that he makes when he does might surprise you.
As a lover of baseball I fell in love with this novel, and the character of Sidd Finch. Throughout this book it discusses the affect that such a talent would have on the game of baseball, and then it shows us. I think that discussion is a fitting comparison for what the steroids era has done to baseball. The only difference is that Sidd Finch had a purity and honesty too him. He had respect. These are things that few players today seem to have. They are greedy, look out for number 1, steroid juiced, behemoths. I’d rather read this book than watch ball game today. I recommend this book to those who are still in love with the game of baseball.