Longtime ESPN and Major League Baseball writer Jim Caple died Sunday. He was 61.
Caple’s wife, Vicki, announced that he had been battling both ALS and dementia.
“My person, best friend and husband died on Sunday afternoon,” Vicki wrote on his Facebook account, via ESPN. “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.”
Caple, a Washington native who attended the University of Washington, covered baseball at ESPN from 2001 to 2017. He also spent time at the St. Paul Pioneer-Press, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and, most recently, The Athletic. In total, Caple covered 20 World Series and six Olympics. He was also a longtime columnist at ESPN’s “Page 2.”
He wrote several books throughout his career, including a New York Yankees book titled “The Devil Wears Pinstripes” and “Best Boston Sports Arguments” with longtime Boston Herald columnist Steve Buckley. He also wrote a novel that was partly based on his dad’s experience as a pilot in World War II.
"Jim was an amazing and prolific writer who always found the joy in sports," former ESPN vice president and Caple’s longtime editor Kevin Jackson said, via ESPN. "Whether he was writing about baseball, the Olympics, the NCAA Tournament or his beloved Tour de France, Jim cared deeply about the games we play, but he never took them too seriously."
Plenty of other writers, journalists and media members took to social media Monday to honor Caple.
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
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
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
— Kevin Kaduk (@KevinKaduk) October 2, 2023
Working with Jim Caple at ESPN was a pleasure and a privilege. Hearing that he's gone already is simply devastating. I was always struck by his balance of taking joy in sports, an example we can all profit from; I know I do.
— Christina Kahrl (@ChristinaKahrl) October 2, 2023
My friend (well, everyone's friend) Jim Caple, the brilliantly funny, kind sportswriter, passed away at 61. We had so many great adventures together, including this shoot for his first-person story for the ESPN Body Issue. Rest easy, my brother, I love you. pic.twitter.com/6HADjmJsBb
— Rod Mar (@rodmarphoto) 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