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John C. Odom, the player who was traded for bats, died of an overdose in November

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Last May, the sports world shared a bit of a chuckle when minor league pitcher John C. Odom was traded in exchange for 10 maple baseball bats.

"People are like, 'I'd kill myself' and stuff," Odom said at the time, seemingly brushing off the unorthodox trade.

But three weeks after the trade, the pitcher left his team. And, six months later, he was dead.
A medical examiner ruled his Nov. 5 death was from an overdose of heroin, methamphetamine, the stimulant benzylpiperazine and alcohol.

Now, some who knew Odom are saying the trade may have contributed to his downfall.

"I guarantee this trade thing really bothered him. That really worried me," said Dan Shwam, who managed Odom last year on the Laredo Broncos of the United League. "I really believe, knowing his background, that this drove him back to the bottle, that it put him on the road to drugs again."

Shwam added: "There were some demons chasing him, they'd been after him for a long time. But there's no way to really know whether the trade did it, is there?"

The AP story about Odom is a great read, tracking his rise and fall and puts a human face on the sad tale.

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6 Comments


K. Koster - I posted a comment in K. Allenon's blog about Washington Post columnist, S. Jenkins.

Please let him know so that he can approve it for posting.

Thanks!

Linda S.

they will try every thing in the book to say it wasnt the trade that did it, but come on, a trade like will kills one own ego.

this is taking a tragic event completely out of context. the assumption that this was suicide, false. the assumption that something so trivial as this leading to a suicide, completely false. the people responsible for putting this out should be ashamed of themselves and the people making this a story and riding on it should also be ashamed of themselves. everyone needs a story, don't they?
get a life.

Kyle responds: What about the quotes from people who know him who point to this as driving him back to the destructive behavior which ultimately ended his life? Should they, as you say, get a life as well?

I knew John Odom. We met in Tallahassee through mutual friends. Yesterday, I was schocked and saddened tolearn of his untimely and tragic death. My heart goes out to his family. I cannot imagine what they are going through. John was one of the nicest people i have ever met. He was a true friend and a great person. He went oput of his way to make sure his friends and family came first. All of you people commenting on this story who didn't know John, please have some respect. No one knows the reason John was dealt this hand. He did not deserve it. That is why i am so ill with sadness. John loved life, music, and baseball. We used to hang out and talk about music and trade licks on the guitar. This is a shocking loss and I will never get over it. The last time i saw John Odom was at a phish concert in atlanta in 2003. I heard someone calling my name and i turned around and it was john with his huge smile. I'll never forget that. John was the nicest guy ever. All of you talking like you knew john and saying that yopu know the reason he did what he did, you all make me sick. Please have some respect for John and his family. The world is a cruel place and yesterday when i heard the news it got a lot colder. I wish there was some way for me to get intouch with his family to let them know that we all love and miss john. He was a good friend and a good person with a huge heart. A heart that broke after his dreams were so brutally crushed by this stupid trade. RIP JOHN ODOM, we love you brother and we will miss you. Yor friend, Mike Singal - Jacksonville, FL.

It takes a very special kind of media pig to create a circus about the tragic death of such a fine young man and great, dedicated ball player. Maybe the writers of these stories won't be so delighted to make a mockery of the facts when it's one of their own family members who is the subject of the story. I agree 100% with they guy who wrote: "get a life".

What a terrible shame that this happpened. No one deserves to be riduculed. Like Mike said above, I'm sure John was a great guy and had a heart of gold. Tragic. Makes me so sad that I didn't know him.

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on March 4, 2009 10:40 AM.

Of marquee player signings and staff layoffs was the previous entry in this blog.

Terrell Owens cut by Dallas; Should the Bears bring him to town? is the next entry in this blog.

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