To his friends and even his wife, he was Bill Henry, former pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds. He even had a collection of his baseball cards to prove it. Except he really wasn’t that Bill Henry, who is very much alive and living in Texas.
The obituary in his local newspaper simply repeated the tale Bill Henry had told for years. He was a former Major League pitcher who spent several years with the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants in the 1950s and 60s.
The death notice caught the eye of the ever-vigilant members of the Society for American Baseball Research, who like to chronicle such events. One of them noticed a discrepancy in the birth dates listed and eventually uncovered it was all a fabrication.
His third wife, a rather shocked Elizabeth Henry, told reporters the couple met more than two decades ago in Michigan.
If you sent an autograph request to Bill Henry in Lakeland, Florda—you’ve probably got a fake. Bill Henry the pitcher says he’s just fine and wonders why someone would go to such lengths to pretend to be him.