Carmen Fanzone, Part 2October 17, 2006
The plot thickens. Here, beyond question, is the very same Carmen Fanzone (see Carmen Fanzone, Part 1) that my brother disputed the existence of, now dressed in a Mets uniform and going by the somewhat more innocuous but still vaguely fake-sounding alias of Craig Swan. However, unlike with Carmen Fanzone, I remember Craig Swan. I saw him pitch at Shea and can clearly recall knowing that one year he even led the National League in earned run average, the only Met from the post-Seaver years who ever got anywhere near a leader-board (which should have been the tipoff that something was fishy). It’s a little unsettling to look at one of the cards from my childhood and have no memory of the player in the photo, but it’s downright jarring to realize that a player I do remember was merely an ephemeral incarnation of an anonymous drifter who skirted the shadows of a series of last-place ballclubs. As far as I know, his ruse was never uncovered. Probably whenever the authorities started to zero in on him, he simply moved on to the next half-empty stadium, leaving behind nothing but a fake mustache.