Jim Caple, who spent 17 years writing about Major League Baseball for ESPN and was one of the main voices of ESPN’s Page 2 vertical, has died at the age of 61.
Along with ESPN, Caple also covered MLB and various sports for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and The Athletic.
Caple’s wife, Vicki, announced his passing.
“My person, best friend and husband died on Sunday afternoon,” she wrote on Facebook. “We all love Jim Caple so much and he loved you. Many great times, laughs and adventures with all of us with Jim. Go in peace my love.”
A cause of death was not immediately announced though his family said on social media that he had ALS and dementia.
Caple rose to prominence as one of the columnists on ESPN’s Page 2, where his columns and disdain for the New York Yankees lived alongside work by writers such as Bill Simmons, David Halberstam, Ralph Wiley, and Hunter S. Thompson. From his columns, he wrote “The Devil Wears Pinstripes,” which “takes on the rabid fans of baseball’s twenty-six-time World Champions, and offers a decidedly different slant on the New York Yankees—the losers of thirteen World Series.”
He also co-wrote “Best Boston Sports Arguments” with sportswriter Steve Buckley, as well as “The Navigator,” a novel based in part on his father, a World War II B-24 navigator.
Tributes poured in immediately from sportswriters and others in the sports media world after the news of the Washington native’s passing.
Heartbroken over the passing of one of my favorite people in the world, Jim Caple
Jim & I shared a special love of the offbeat side of baseball. And it led us to so many laughs, unforgettable stories and “award-winning” ESPN videos.
Jim was a brilliant, beautiful soul. RIP, pal pic.twitter.com/bZu6qGdqY5
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) October 2, 2023
Devastated beyond words by the loss of my longtime friend and former ESPN colleague Jim Caple. He was brilliant, creative, thoughtful and kind. We love you, Capes. Rest easy. pic.twitter.com/CE02ccq9mC
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) October 2, 2023
Jim Caple was a sportswriter (and cyclist) who saw the beauty in smaller sports and minor moments. He really did it all, around the world. A loss for Olympians and athletes of all backgrounds. Condolences to all of his family and friends.
— Jason Gay (@jasongay) October 2, 2023
Thanks to all who have reached out, and posted their own tributes, about my uncle, Jim Caple. He died last night, at 61, after battling ALS and dementia. I admired him deeply, and his mentorship meant more to me than I can say. Please keep my aunt Vicki in your thoughts.
— Christian Caple (@ChristianCaple) October 2, 2023
RIP Jim Caple, one of the most brilliant and insightful writers the sports world has ever known. He was a longtime baseball writer for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and ESPN. Caple, a friend to so many, passed away last night, his wife, Vicki wrote.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 2, 2023
Jim was one of our best, and one of a kind. There are no words. RIP. https://t.co/t8qLs6l0UQ
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 2, 2023
Very sorry to hear this. Jim Caple was a great talent with his own distinct voice. We covered the Beijing Olympics together for ESPN and he was good company. https://t.co/oFKeHhaLz5
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) October 2, 2023