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Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Remarkable Story of Sidd Finch

In 1985, Sports Illustrated broke the story of a young man by the name of Hayden Sidd Finch. The 28-year old Mets rookie became an overnight sensation before he had ever thrown a single pitch. The focus of all the attention was Finch's eccentric lifestyle and his ability to top out his pitches at speeds of close to 170 miles an hour. Absolutely unheard of at that point. In fact, the fastest pitches on record before Finch's arrival were Nolan Ryan and Goose Gossage at 103 mph--a full 65 mph slower.

Upon the release of the story, the sports world was ablaze...as was my circle of "experts" in my hometown. Immediately the conversation began as to what the rest of the baseball world would do to keep up. My friends were talking about things like the human eye's ability to "catch up" to a ball thrown that fast and whether or not the standard wooden bat could withstand such an impact if they ever did. I even had friends wondering how much a ticket to Finch's first game would cost.

It was all useless conversation. Finch never pitched a single pitch in the major leagues for New York. In fact, he never threw a pitch at all. You see, Sidd was the product of a baseball writer's imagination. The article was released on April 1, 1985 as part of an April Fool's gag by the magazine. And we bought every bit of the lie. Oh, how we bought it!

Did you know that lies are the number one weapon of Satan? He used a lie to trick Adam and Even in the garden; he has been up to it ever since. Noah, Moses, Abraham, David and many other great heroes of the Bible were victims of the lies. We are too. We hear him when he tells us we aren't good enough. We buy the lie when he tells us that no one loves us. He convinces us with the twisting of truth and sways us into believing that our secrets will never hurt anyone else. Before long, he has us talking and worrying and debating the "facts" of something that was never true in the first place. The end result? Lives that are a mess. We live at a frantic pace to fulfill the lie when God says that the truth is what sets us free. Lies entangle and bind; Jesus alone sets us free to live life to the fullest.

Finch's life "story" created quite a response...one that was completely based on a lie. My hope is that our lives are always built on the truth. Truth that is found in God's great love for us as it is revealed in the Bible. Don't buy the lie. You'll just feel like a fool.

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