Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sports Icons Dedicate Memorial to Fast Pitcher

There will be special memories today in St. Petersburg, FL, as sports icons gather to dedicate a memorial to Sidd Finch, the pitcher who threw fast balls at more than 160 miles per hour.

The enigmatic Finch, whose Zen philosophy guided his sports development, only appeared briefly on the sports scene. George Plimpton was able to interview him before Finch's brief stardom, and his arm, disappeared.

This is an especially poignant event for me as I am a Finch. My family also includes a pioneer cross-country motor car driver, who enigmatically used a different name for those exploits.

Plimpton's story on Finch, who was also a musician and mountain climber, is here.

Some say that Robert Redford's "The Natural" was based in part on Finch. The violence, some believe, was added in to the film "for Hollywood's sake," noted baseball historian Eddie "Fast Ball" Harrigan said.

"He inspired me," declared Larry Anderson.

After the dedication, several old-time greats will take the field against the Senior League Champions in St. Petersburg.

Note: Anderson is no relation to pitching great Larry Anderson. Although the story of the motor car driver is true, the exploits of Sidd Finch are under scrutiny.

Yep, check out the date of this story. ;}

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