Bill Henry is Not Dead! He’s Right Out Back In the Hammock!
Earlier this week, media outlets around the country reported on the death of former major leaguer Bill Henry. They talked about his 16 year major league career and his accomplishments, including his appearance in the 1961 World Series. As people mourned his passing, there was only one little problem.
Bill Henry wasn’t dead.
At least not that Bill Henry. A Bill Henry died, but it was 83-year-old Bill Henry of Lakeland, Florida who passed away, not the 79-year-old Bill Henry from Texas. It turns out that the Florida incarnation of Bill Henry had been pretending he had been the major league player for decades, even going as far as talking to schoolkids about his major league career. His poor wife, Elizabeth, had no idea, saying “I just took his word that that’s who he was. It’s an awful shock. It’s hard. I was married to somebody that maybe I didn’t know.” Elizabeth even painted a portrait of her husband based off an old baseball card as a present. Perhaps she may want to send that to the real Bill Henry, seeing as it’s actually of him (the two apparently did look alike, though perhaps Elizabeth should get her eyes checked anyway).
Needless to say, this twist in the story is precipitating some quick retractions, such as this one from the Associated Press:
In a Sept. 2 obituary for Bill Henry, The Associated Press reported erroneously that he was the former major league pitcher of the same name. The deceased was a Lakeland resident, also known as Bill Henry, who had been passing himself off for more than 20 years as the player, according to his stepfamily and his pastor. The former pitcher lives in Texas and says he is in good health.
Glad that’s settled. No word on if either of the Travis Henrys is related to either of these two men.
Lakeland Man Wasn’t Who He Said He Was (Lakeland Ledger)
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