The May issue of GQ contains an excellent baseball story that turns out to be a brilliantly written journalistic hoax. I only discovered it because it references a Cape Cod Baseball League Player -- Irving Clifford -- whom I had never heard of. For good reason it turns out. According to writer Jason Gay, The Ash Fork Miners of the Desert Cactus Independent League (bogus) has a 13-year-old GM named Jake Nettles Floyed (born April 1, 1994). Hoax. But the colorful reporting about young Jake and his ballclub is priceless.
Ok, I read the piece late at night without benefit of the Internet. The GM being born on April Fools should have been my first clue and the fact there is not an Ash Fork Miners team or a league by that name should have been the second and third clues. Saying I don't read GQ is sort of like saying I don't read Playboy. Both statements are actually true, but for different reasons. But a friend gave the magazine to me because she knows I am a baseball geek who loves stories about the business of baseball. What could be better than a successful 13-year-old General Manager?
I was more than a little suspicious when I read the article, but tonight I brought it downstairs to my home office to write something about the fictitous Cape player for CodBall. I Googled the supposed Cape League player -- Irving Clifford -- but only got Clifford Irving, author of a 1970s "authorized biography" of billionaire Howard Hughes, which turned out to be a hoax. Richard Gere plays Irving in a 2006 film called The Hoax.
The GQ piece, buried deep in this month's issue, points to the eagerness with which we look every spring story to baseball -- the article is in a long line of baseball prodigy stories.
The article is a fun read and the photos add way too much to its legitimacy. A few blogs have started to pick up on the GQ hoax.