An ode to Jim Caple (RIP)

ThePrideofShiner

Crests prematurely
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
10,977
Washington
Like many of you, I grew up reading Caple on ESPN.com Page 2. I loved the minutiae and stats and humor and his tremendous storytelling.

His nephew, Christian, who was laid off by The Athletic in the spring and recently launched a website dedicated to UW sports, wrote an incredible obit that is free to read here.

I worked with Christian for a few years at the Tacoma newspaper and he is a gifted, tremendous writer who does right by his uncle in this story.

https://www.onmontlake.com/p/remembering-jim-caple
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
47,866
Hartford, CT
Wow. That was an amazing piece, the structural flourish at the end was devastating and earned. The picture with Caple on his back deck with Stark, Crasnick and their wives also hit hard. He was a key, unique part of the golden age of ESPN’s baseball coverage, and that piece did him justice.
 

edoug

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
6,007
What a life. So many accomplishments. Thanks for posting it.
 

Norm loves Vera

Joe wants Trump to burn
SoSH Member
Dec 25, 2003
5,677
Peace Dale, RI
This news breaks my heart. Thanks for posting. I met Jim by chance at a Red Sox game in Anaheim vs the Angels in July 2015. I have been a coach in Special Olympics for decades and that year was blessed to be a Team USA coach at the World Games in LA that year. I and another RI coach flew out a day earlier then most of the team to catch a Red Sox game vs the Angels. Through one of the PR folks back then (Jon Shestakofsky) we arranged to have Dustin do a cameo with us to address Team USA that would be played at our first team meeting the next day.

It was raining, which is rare, so we waited inside within the area by the door leading to the field. There were a few chairs and in one of them was Buster Olney who I think was part of the tv crew covering the game (ESPN Sunday Night?) Anyway, I struck up a conversation with him and he invited us to sit with him while we wait to go on the field. After a minute or two, Jim Caple came over to Buster who invited him to join us. He did, with a huge order of fries.

We talked about Special Olympics, Red Sox and baseball and somehow Seattle came up. I told him I went to college in WA state and would spend weekends in Seattle to see local bands back in 87-90 timeline Jim lit up. It turns out we may have met back then as we both frequented a Pioneer Square bar that was a grundge venue -the J&M Cafe and checking out the talent walking around Green Lake.

He was really a regular dude and shared his fries. When Jon came and got us to go on the field to meet Dustin, Jim came with us and used my cell to video us with Dustin and his 15 second hype speech <hint, it wasn't>

The game would go on to be the first rainout in a decade or more, but I am grateful for the time with Jim. To be honest I didn't even know he was going thru things medically.

Rest easy Jim and thanks for the fries.
 

Seven Costanza

Fred Astaire of SoSH
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2007
3,028
That's a great piece- thanks for posting it. Caple was always one of my favorite writers. Rest easy Jim.
 

Andy Merchant

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 2, 2010
1,824
Thanks for sharing, a really nice tribute to Jim by his nephew.

I used to read the Page 2 stuff religiously and really enjoyed his stuff along with pre-Hollywood Bill Simmons. I gave up on ESPN a while ago (thanks Mortensen!) and didn't even remember that Caple was let go in 2017. Sad to hear about his health challenges, man having dementia and ALS and passing away at 61 is awful. :(
 

Spelunker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
12,730
Primary progressive aphasia is about as awful as it gets, at least for the people around you. Loved his work: this took me back.
 

LogansDad

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
30,751
Alamogordo
Thank you for posting, what an awesome tribute to a person who helped me love and understand sports even more in my 20's than I had before. I miss those Page 2 days, it feels like times were simpler back then, and Jim was a big, big part of that.
 

Bergs

funky and cold
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
22,011
Like many of you, I grew up reading Caple on ESPN.com Page 2. I loved the minutiae and stats and humor and his tremendous storytelling.

His nephew, Christian, who was laid off by The Athletic in the spring and recently launched a website dedicated to UW sports, wrote an incredible obit that is free to read here.

I worked with Christian for a few years at the Tacoma newspaper and he is a gifted, tremendous writer who does right by his uncle in this story.

https://www.onmontlake.com/p/remembering-jim-caple
Fantastic piece.

It's all so fucking fleeting.
 

terrynever

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 25, 2005
21,954
pawtucket
As a caregiver, I can really appreciate Vicky’s line: “I can still touch him.” Dementia steals a person’s mind but it leaves the body mostly untouched.
Wonderful tribute. So sad.
 

CaptainLaddie

dj paul pfieffer
SoSH Member
Sep 6, 2004
37,767
where the darn libs live
Man, I *loved* Caple back in the day. Always such a fun read, and his notes at the bottom of every column were in the new-age Gammons Sunday notes (even though Gammons was still doing his column at the time).
 

grsharky7

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,263
Berlin, PA
I was a huge fan of the old Page 2 back when I was in college, so much so that some of my friends called me, "Page 2". It had the old school Simmons and of course Caple. I loved his writing and I was surprised that I had forgotten about him until I saw this news. 61 is way to young.