Jim “Jeeters” Costigan died from a heart attack August 24, 2001 at the Colorado Athletic Club@ Monaco. Jim left us playing the game he loved so much. He was well known as "Mr. Unique" in the handball arena.
If you knew him, it could have been anyone playing with him on that day. As much as he loved the game, he loved handball players more, always speaking of the strengths they had regardless of how accomplished they were.
Costigan was inducted into the Colorado Handball Hall of Fame in 2000. His Hall of Fame plaque reads as follows:
The journey began in Forest Park at the 3 Wall courts in St. Louis at the age of 15. After college and several career moves, Jim wound up in Denver and emerged as a major force in Colorado, competing in all State Tournaments from 1974 through 1992. Jim holds numerous State Single and Doubles titles in the Open, Masters and Golden Masters. His heart truly belongs to Handball, whether it’s 3 or 4 Wall.
One of Jim’s favorite players was Phil Meranto, who inspired him to compete at the National level. Costigan won the USHA 3 Wall Senior Nationals in 1981, was a semi-finalist in 1983 and 1984, and in 1985 placed second to Lou Russo in the 3 Wall Masters Nationals.
To witness Jim at his best on a 3 Wall court was to watch a master at work.
Jim epitomized sportsmanship and fair play, always wondering if somehow he was responsible for you missing your last shot. After a grueling rally, he’d often ask, “You want a hinder on that? Take a hinder. I got in your way.”
Jeeters, as he often called himself, was a fierce competitor on the court but a truly kind and gentle man. He lived a humble but full life with his wife and three great kids. His family and the entire Colorado Handball community will miss Jim tremendously. We mourn his passing but rejoice that he shared his life with us.