Bill Henry claimed to have been a major league pitcher right up until his death last week in Florida.
Naturally, his obituary made headlines nationwide. After all, Bill Henry had been in the majors for 16 years, even pitched in two games of the 1961 World Series while playing for the Cincinnati Reds.His obituary (now retracted) caught the attention of the real Bill Henry, who is very much alive, and of genealogist and SABR member David Lambert. It was Lambert who noticed that the deceased Henry's vital stats didn't add up: the ball-playing Henry was born 1927 in Texas, not 1924 in Missouri.
Henry left behind a handful of honest-to-goodness Bill Henry baseball cards, one of which is autographed, although no one's sure if it's authentic.
His widow and third wife, Elizabeth, said her husband was fond of showing the cards to friends, even though the biographical information on the back of the cards didn't match his own.
She said he just told everyone that the printing company made a mistake on the cards by saying that he was born in Texas in 1927. [Link]