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10 Bizarre Professional Athlete Deaths

By Edited Sep 28, 2016 1 1

The Sad Story of Pro Athletes and Their Untimely Deaths

Believe it or not, the athletes that play the sports we watch and love on a daily basis are mere mortals, just like us. While many athletes are able to happily retire and live their lives to the fullest, not all are able to even retire. Old age simply does not apply to this list of athletes who saw their lives cut short in some of the most bizarre and peculiar ways possible.col

10 - Geoff Watt (1969)

Geoff Watt

Geoff was a distance runner from Victoria. While never receiving international acclaim, Watt was an astounding runner. In fact, he was the first person to run up and down Mount Kilimanjaro. Unfortunately, all the running in the cold would be the death of him. Watt died from exposure to snow while training on Mount Erica.

9 - Danny Frisella (March 4th, 1946 – January 1st, 1977)

Danny Frisella

Danny Frisella was a baseball player who played for five teams over the course of his career. He was a relief pitcher who was quite valuable to the teams that he played for, as he had a winning career record and an ERA around 3.00. Unfortunately, Danny’s life was cut short when he was involved in a dune buggy accident on New Year’s Day.

8 - Don Fleming (June 11th, 1937 – June 4th, 1963)

Don Fleming

Don Fleming was a professional American football player who played for the Cleveland Browns. During the off-season, Fleming worked construction to stay in shape and gain experience, as he was a building construction major in college. Unfortunately, Fleming and a co-worker were electrocuted when a 12,000 volt transmission line struck them.

7 - Chris Benoit (May 21st, 1967 – June 24th, 2007)

Chris Benoit

Chris Benoit was a professional wrestler from Canada whose life ended in an absolutely horrifying murder-suicide case. Benoit was responsible for drugging his wife and son and consequently killing them over the course of three days. Upon murdering his wife and son, Benoit committed suicide in his house with a weight machine. Autopsy reports revealed that Benoit’s brain was in terrible condition.

6 - Andrés Escobar (March 13th, 1967 – July 2nd, 1994)

Andrés Escobar

Andrés Escobar was a professional Colombian soccer player who was shot and killed in Colombia. The murder itself is not bizarre, but rather the reason for which he was killed. In the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Escobar scored on his own goal in a game versus the United States that ultimately led his team’s loss. A wide consensus believe that this goal led to his death. His team's loss caused immense losses to the Colombian drug lords, who bet heavily on the Colombian team to win.

5 - Geremi González (January 8th, 1975 – May 25th, 2008)

Geremi González

González was a professional baseball player who played for the Milwaukee Brewers at the time of his death. However, he played for five teams over the course of his career. There really is not an interesting story to the death of Geremi. All that needs to be known is that he overcame the 1 in 280,000 odds of being struck by lightning. González died immediately.

4 - Chris Henry (May 17th, 1983 – December 17th, 2009)

Chris Henry

Henry was a professional American football player who played five seasons in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals. On December 16th, Chris was involved in a dispute with his wife. Apparently, Henry fell off the back of a moving pickup truck that was being driven by his wife. Henry died the next day from the trauma sustained during the dispute.

3 - Ed Delahanty (October 30th, 1867 – July 2nd, 1903)

Ed Delahanty

Ed, a Hall of Fame player in the MLB, was killed after being swept over Niagara Falls. Drunk, Ed was kicked off the train he was riding for threatening passengers with a razor. He then started walking, making his way to the International Bridge, where he fell or jumped off.

2 - Mario Danelo (July 3rd, 1985 – January 6th, 2007)

Mario Danelo

Mario Danelo was an American collegiate level placekicker that played football for the USC Trojans. On January 6th, after partying, Mario went for a walk and never returned. Danelo, drunk at the time, had accidentally fallen off a 120-foot high cliff to his death in San Pedro.

1 - Corey Smith (October 2nd, 1979 – March 2009)
& Marquis Cooper (March 11th, 1982 – March 2009)
Corey Smith and Marquis Cooper

Corey Smith and Marquis Cooper, professional American football players, were never actually able to be confirmed dead. On March 1st, a fishing boat was reported missing off the coast of Florida. Smith and Cooper were accompanied by two other friends. The boat was supposed to have returned later that night, but never did. The boat was found the next day, capsized, with one of the friends hanging onto it. The men were searched for, but after a month, they were presumed dead. Their bodies were never found.



Jan 19, 2012 12:12pm
Being from Vancouver, I think of Rick Rypien and Pavol Dimitra and the rest of the Slovakian hockey team. Shame.
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