Newsletter 50: The Serial Killer Baseball Team

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I’ve decided to start putting some of the best newsletter essays here on Medium, so more people can read them. You’re still better off just subscribing. Here is a newsletter from May 2017. This was a topic given to me by the winner of my annual NCAA Tournament pool. The prize is being able to assign any topic for me to write about that the winner chooses. Dealer’s choice. This guy asked me to write about a serial killer baseball team. So I did.

1B: Pedro Rodriguez Filho. Murdered 71 people, a staggering number. You need a solid producer at first base, a guy you can count on for offense. Here’s a fun factoid about Pedro: The first man he killed, at the age of 14, was the vice-mayor of his town, who fired his father after (wrongly) accusing him of stealing food from the kitchen he worked at. Five years later, he would kill his father — the reason here was justifiable, I think; Dad had just murdered Mom with a machete — and he’d total more than 10 kills before his 18th birthday. A phenom! The majority of his kills were actually fellow inmates. Somehow, he was released from prison in 2007. He is still alive and has surely killed someone since you started reading this paragraph.

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2B: Donald Henry Gaskins. Nicknamed “Pee Wee,” he is thought to be among the shortest of chronicled serial killers. In the hours before his execution in 1991, he tried to kill himself three different times, which is the sort of scrappiness you want in a middle infielder.

SS: Cedric Maake. Evaded capture for years because he was such a versatile murderer: He killed people with guns, axes, rocks, hammers, whatever was handy and nearby. A shortstop is the linchpin of the defense and must be ready for everything.

3B: Randall Woodfield. A former Green Bay Packers draft pick chronicled by L. Jon Wertheim in Sports Illustrated, Randall obviously had the athleticism and agility required of a sturdy rock at the hot corner.

LF: Luis Garavito. The most prolific serial killer of all time, and he’s still alive and eligible to be released in 2021. That’s the sort of bat you must have in your lineup; you can hide the glove in left.

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CF: Jeffrey Dahmer. Dahmer, a Milwaukee resident, probably watched Robin Yount and Gorman Thomas play center field a lot. Plus, Dahmer clearly was diligent about proper nutrition.

RF: Xang Xinhai. Was infamous for entering victims homes in the middle of the night and killing them with axes, hammers, knives, meat cleavers and shovels. A true five-tool star.

C: Alexander Pichushkin. The “Chessboard Killer,” the sort of cerebral leader you need to run a pitching staff.

SP: Ted Bundy. Having grown up watching Jim Palmer in the ’80s, I need my star starting pitchers to be handsome enough to be featured in an underwear ad. I am certain Ted Bundy is the only serial killer to meet this description.

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Setup: Atlanta Ripper. Suspected of killing at least 15 women in Atlanta in the 1910s, this never-caught killer has the wiliness and deception required of a crafty reliever.

Closer: Dennis Rader. The BTK Killer has a built-in gimmick; you can almost imagine fans putting up a “B,” a “T” and a “K” for each out of the ninth. His entrance song could be the opening credits of Se7en.

Thank you, Tyler, for this incredibly weird request for a newsletter.

Subscribe to the newsletter right here.

Written by

Writer, New York, NYT, MLB, WaPo, others. Founder, Deadspin. Author of four books, with fifth, “How Lucky,” coming May 2021.

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