A Florida library claimed a reader named 'Chuck Finley' checked out over 2,000 books in 2016
Over his 17 years in MLB, Chuck Finley pitched 3,197 1/3 innings, racked up 2,610 strikeouts and recorded a career ERA of 3.85. And apparently, he also checked out 2,361 books from the East Lake County Library in Sorrento, Fla., over a nine-month period in 2016. That's interesting, because he currently lives in Newport Beach, Calif.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that some of the books on Finley's reading list include "Cannery Row" by John Steinbeck and "Why Do My Ears Pop?" by Ann Fullick. But it's unlikely he ever learned the answer to that question, because it turns out that the real Chuck Finley never checked out either book. Florida Finley was just a creation of library staffers who were trying to keep books in circulation. From the Sentinel:
The fictional character was concocted by two employees at the library, complete with a false address and driver's license number.
After allegations by an unidentified person made in November, an investigation by the Lake County clerk of courts' inspector general's office concluded that Finley was a fake, and the county has since requested a system-wide audit of its libraries.
The goal behind the creation of "Chuck Finley" was to make sure certain books stayed on the shelves - books that aren't used for a long period can be discarded and removed from the library system.
George Dore, the library's branch supervisor who was put on administrative leave for his part in the episode, said he wanted to avoid having to later repurchase books purged from the shelf ...
The fictional Chuck Finley was named after "a ballplayer," according to the inspector's notes.
So it turns out we don't know anything about the real Finley's reading habits. Maybe he really is a big Steinbeck fan. Maybe he does know why his ears pop. Someone get in touch with the Newport Beach library system.