Hoax Museum Blog: Sports

Beckham Kidnap Plot — The Observer details how the News of the World came to believe a far-fetched yarn about a plot to kidnap Victoria Beckham, even though their source was a serial liar.
Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2003.   Comments (0)

Simonya Popova — In its latest issue Sports Illustrated has run a hoax article detailing the career of Simonya Popova, a 17-year-old rising tennis star/sex symbol from Uzbekistan. The name Simonya was a play on the recent movie Simone, about an actress who doesn't really exist. At the end of the article the author, Jon Wertheim, admits Simonya doesn't exist, but this hasn't calmed down the WTA who apparently are up in arms about the hoax. From the AP report: (WTA) Spokesman Chris De Maria called the story deceiving and was annoyed at its emphasis on Simonya's sexuality. "It was misleading and irritating," he said. "There are a lot of great stories out there. We didn't need a fake one."
Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2002.   Comments (0)

The Great Potato Play of August 31, 1987 — More about the Great Potato Play of Aug. 31, 1987, in which catcher Dave Bresnahan threw a peeled potato out into left field in order to lure a player from third base and tag him out. Bresnahan was fired as soon as the game ended, but his name has become immortal in baseball lore. A year after the event, fans paid one dollar and one potato as admission to celebrate Dave Bresnahan Day.Pictures of Bowman Field, Home of the Potato PlayDan Lewerenz's AP article remembering the potato playA Baseball America piece about the potato play, written a few weeks after it occurred.The Official Site of the Williamsport Crosscutters discusses the potato caper in detail.
Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2002.   Comments (0)

The Great Potato Stunt — The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette remembers the Great Minor-League Potato Stunt:

Dan Lewerenz (AP): It's been 15 years since Bresnahan, then a backup catcher for the Class AA Williamsport Bills, pulled one of the most infamous stunts in baseball history, throwing a potato into left field to lure a runner off third base. The stunt ended his baseball career, made him an instant celebrity, even got his number retired. Yet to this day, Bresnahan is surprised by the continuing attention he gets -- all because of one lighthearted moment what seems like ages ago. "I didn't throw the potato to be famous or to make money," Bresnahan said in a telephone interview from Tempe, Ariz., where he has lived since his baseball career ended. Now 40, he works as a real estate broker. "I did it because I thought it would be fun." It happened on Aug. 31, 1987, with the Bills -- 27 games out of first place and seventh in the eight-team Eastern League -- playing host to the Reading Phillies. Bresnahan was catching the first game of a doubleheader when, with two out and a runner on third in the fifth inning, he hurled what looked like a baseball past the third baseman and into left field. The runner, Rick Lundblade, trotted home only to be tagged out at the plate. Lundblade was shocked. The crowd was confused. The Bills were laughing. Bresnahan had executed his trick to perfection.
Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2002.   Comments (0)

Fake Romanian Soccer Team — A rogue soccer team pretends to be Romania's Olympic team.
Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2002.   Comments (0)

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