Here's an interesting story. Bill Henry was a 16-year MLB player who pitched in two games of the 1961 World Series while playing for the Cincinnati Reds.
When word leaked that he had passed away last Thursday, it made its way onto national headlines, since Henry had a decent career as a relief pitcher.
Only problem was Henry wasn't actually dead. He was reading the paper this weekend when he suddenly read his own obituary.
Yes, the real Bill Henry from Texas who debuted with the Boston Red Sox in 1952 and went on to have a career record of 46 wins, 50 losses, 90 saves and a career earned run average of 3.26 - is still alive.
The guy who pretended to be him for the past 20 years is now dead.
"Let everybody know that I'm still kicking," said the real Henry. "I don't know what to think," he said of the man who took his identity. "I'm baffled."
News of Henry's death appeared first in a paid obituary in a Texas newspaper on Thursday. On Saturday, a brief news item about Henry's death appeared in The Ledger's sports section under the headline "Major League Relief Pitcher Bill Henry, of Lakeland, dies at 83." That item was picked up by The Associated Press, which distributed it nationally. Even Sports Illustrated picked it up.
David Lambert, a genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, discovered the hoax. When he caught wind of Henry's death he noticed a discrepancy in the age mentioned in an obituary. Henry, the retired major leaguer, was born Oct. 15, 1927, in Alice, Texas. The deceased Henry was born Feb. 1, 1924, in Moberly, Mo.
The fake Henry had collected and autographed real Bill Henry cards and frequently spoke with schoolchildren about his MLB days (which of course was a total lie).
What's weird is that the fake Henry got away with this for so long, considering all the information on the back of real Henry cards didn't match up with the fake Henry's background or birthdate.
So I guess that's good news for all you wannabe athletes out there. It seems it isn't real hard to pass yourself off as a former pro athlete. Just be sure you don't pick an athlete that's well known and currently playing, because that could cause some problems.