A Brief Interlude

The Short Life and Gruesome Death of Baseball's First Superstar

Usually on Tuesday mornings, you get an entire Sports Stories, start to finish. But this week, we’re holding off on that until Thursday — which also happens to be Halloween. We hope that you are patient with us while we…decompose the next issue.

Thanks for your patience. Thanks for understanding. Thanks for reading past that terrible joke. We’ll be back on our regular Tuesday schedule next week. In the meantime, here’s a very short Sports Story from a zine called “Notable Ballplayers” that Adam and I made a few years back, featuring the tragic stories of ballplayers who died mid-career.

Back when baseball was still spelled base ball with two words and there were no professional teams and cricket ruled the American sports pages, there was Jim Creighton. Jim Creighton the boy wonder of New York City with the eyes of a Romantic poet. Star of the the Niagaras of Brooklyn. Star of the Stars of Brooklyn. Star of the New York Excelsiors. Slugging second baseman and, who knows, probably the inventor of the breaking ball. There were no professional teams until a team started paying Jim Creighton in cash under the table. He was baseball’s first superstar and baseball’s first martyr. As his countrymen marched into smoky death at Bull Run and Shiloh, Jim Creighton played ball. In 1862, when he was 21 years old, hit a home run so hard that his intestines got tangled up inside of him. Two days later, he was dead. 

This has been a brief communication from the makers of Sports Stories,  Eric Nusbaum (words) and Adam Villacin (art). If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please reply to this email or contact enusbaum@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you. And you’ll hear from us again on Thursday.