Baseball player (1841-1862) from the pre-professional era who played for the Brooklyn Stars and later the Brooklyn Excelsiors until 1862. Star pitcher, the most dominant of his time, said to gain the speed that made him dominant among his peers by a flick of the wrist that was illegal at the time. He was also a notable batsman, who was, depending on which account you decide to be true at a time when facts about this new game are few and far between, a good to incredible batter.
Among the trivia he leaves us is that he was the first professional ballplayer, that he started the first triple play while playing left field, something he did when he wasn't pitching, and that he was the first pitcher to do something more than feed the batter, or striker as they were then known, the ball, actually becoming a factor in the game. However, the most intriguing, well-known, and morbid tidbit about him is that he died playing baseball!
According to anecdotal reports of the time, he swung so hard at a pitch that he suffered internal injuries. Reports vary, some going so far as to say the swing that would eventually kill him resulted in a home run, but it is generally agreed upon that he stayed in the game, but died three days later, at the young age of 21. It is easy even today to see the high esteem Creighton was held in, even at such a young age; his grave in Green-Wood Cemetary in Brooklyn is not a headstone as much as a monument to the dead star, a large pillar that stands a good deal taller than anything surrounding it.
Baseball writer Tom Shieber is currently researching for a possible book on the original fireballer, but as it stands now Jim Creighton is an almost mythological figure, buried in the annals of time.