Previously unbeknownst to a 48-year-old Pittsburgh native and longtime resident of Tampa Bay, Fla., who isn’t much for sports, he bears a striking resemblance to Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star third baseman Justin Turner. James Worley was first tipped off by a friend in Chicago.
“He’s a dead ringer,” Rich Munnich said of likeness Worley has to Turner. Munnich was watching a game between the Dodgers and Cubs when he was awestruck, and it prompted an exchange on Facebook.
The message caught Worley by surprise. “I was confused, and he told me to Google search Justin Turner,” Worley said. “So I did and I’m looking at the pictures, even without the uniform I was like, ‘Wow. I look like this guy.'”
Worley was moved to purchase a Dodgers cap and jersey, then pants so as to have a full uniform that would be worn at a celebrity impersonators convention in his home state. He shared pictures online, which was met by the same reaction Munnich had.
“More people started chiming in on how much I look like [Turner],” Worley said. He walked the Florida Mall, in uniform, and predictably was approached.
“There were people who saw me in the mall and thought I was Justin Turner,” Worley said with a laugh. “I had to tell them he’s across the country playing baseball.”
Fast forward to the present, and Worley has met the Dodgers in Philadelphia. Monday’s game was his first since being dubbed Turner’s doppelganger. He was outside Citizens Bank Park several hours prior to first pitch when Dodgers coaches spotted him.
Hyun-Jin Ryu was the first player to seek Worley out for a photograph. Kenley Jansen and Turner were among those to follow suit. Worley told Turner, ‘Man, you’re like a brother from another mother,’ and the two shared a laugh.
The attention Worley received also benefitted fans who were outside the stadium seeking autographs. He was thanked by them because the throng of players signed autographs while visiting with their teammate’s stunt double.
The attention didn’t stop once Worley entered the stadium. He walked the concourse, spoke with fans and posed for pictures throughout the night. He spent little time in his seat and expects the same to hold true Tuesday night.
Worley has not yet decided whether he will attend games on Wednesday and Thursday. He must begin the drive back home some time soon.
Worley began his trek north prior to Hurricane Irma making landfall in Florida. His first stop was in Alabama, then to North Carolina and Philadelphia.
For however many more games he catches in Philadelphia, Worley hopes a visit to Dodger Stadium is in the near future. “It would be a lot of fun,” he said.