Rip My Heart Out

(By Chris, Editor in Chief of and the adult writer of the Gab Four, sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

Few experiences have been as pleasingly perverse as openly supporting an organization named after a serial killer who performed abdominal mutilations on his victims. Though, seeing as how the organization is located in Canada, it would best be pronounced "or-gan-EYE-zay-shun."

When the Frontier League expansion baseball team in London, Ontario, declared their moniker to be the Rippers and simultaneously unveiled a mascot dressed in a black top hat, black gloves, black cape worn over his mouth and threateningly gripping a baseball bat, I knew I had found a criminal I could get behind.

A few Canadians opposed the team's official representative, though these were primarily males and females, between the ages of 2 and 98. Fortunately, neither the team's voice mail or e-mail had been set up, allowing them to proceed with completely ignoring the public.

For those who had never had a chance to witness Lon Chaney's character from "London After Midnight" playing baseball, the Rippers were a nightmare come true.

Team executives even pieced together a backstory for their mascot, named Diamond Jack, which describes him as a former hockey player. This is also akin to an alias. Jack's biography fails to mention anything about a penchant for removing kidneys from bodies, ergo completely exonerating him from being suspected for five murders committed in London, England, in 1888.

Since the Whitechapel murders were committed 124 years ago, "If the age don't fit, you must acquit," provided an excellent theme for the Rippers' inaugural season.

Unfortunately, the Rippers' season ended prematurely. Three months into a five-month schedule, the Rippers did not report for work on July 25.

As of right now, the clues are such: a headline on the team's official website reading "Rippers Cease Operations" and the Frontier League president declaring the players to be free agents. The team has not responded to numerous tweets that could be considered borderline obsessive, made by an investigative journalist (that would be me). Though I was only inquiring about getting a plush toy of Diamond Jack, the matter has since been reported to Scotland Yard.

Further complicating the case, the Rippers are not the first baseball team to have disappeared from London. Teams known as the Tecumsehs, Tigers, Werewolves and Monarchs have all been declared missing.

Having been completely unaware of a team named the London Werewolves (which existed from 1999-2001 and had a mascot named Warren Z. Vaughn), Larry Talbot and Scott Howard were both deprived of the opportunity to turn to baseball, should baying at the moon and playing high school basketball grow old.

With the expiration of the Rippers, there are now five victims. Though attendance and finances, reportedly, were not sufficient and blamed for the franchise's demise, the evidence is clearly pointing in one direction.

Seeing as how London's first club was reported dead in 1878, it wasn't the fans. It was Jack who killed the Rippers.

Chris is a Waco, Texas, resident, Editor in Chief of, author of the book "Sports Briefs" and the adult writer for the Gab Four. Read more of Chris' solo columns here.

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