In April 1985, Sports Illustrated published an article that stunned the sports community. George Plimpton's 13-page profile of Sidd Finch, a mysterious pitcher who had been signed by the New York Mets and reportedly threw 168 mph, came complete with photos from spring training, scouting reports, and interviews with Mets players and management. A week later, SI apologized to readers around the world for their role in what is generally regarded as the greatest hoax in the history of sports journalism. The magazine had teamed up with the legendary author and Paris Review bon vivant for an April Fool's Day prank of unprecedented proportions. After the success of the article, Plimpton decided to turn the story into a novel a rousing baseball fairy tale that is considered one of the most memorable sports novels of the last half-century.