After I posted the what it’s like when a hockey player is traded article last week, I got a tweet telling me that I should read this Brett Popplewell profile piece on Ryan Freel.
If you don’t remember who Ryan Freel is, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. His name hadn’t crossed my mind since I don’t know when, at least not until his suicide at the end of 2012. Even then I only had a passing memory of him playing for the Jays in the early 2000’s and then bouncing around the majors and minors until the injuries caught up to him and he faded into obscurity.
Fading into obscurity, as it turns out, was more than he could handle, and this article illustrates it perfectly. From the highest heights to the lowest lows and the eventual sad end, it’s all here. If you’re a fan of sports or of writing in general, you should take the time to read it. It’s long, but it’s worth it. A quite amazing piece of journalism.