Manuel "Jungle JIm" Rivera

  • Born: July 22, 1921
  • Died: November 14, 2017
  • Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

D O McComb and Sons - Maplewood Park

4017 Maplecrest Rd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46815

Tel. (260) 426-9494

Tribute & Message From The Family

Manuel Joseph "Jungle Jim" Rivera, 96, passed away Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Born in New York, NY, Jim was the son of the late Gregory and Mary (Veranco) Rivera. "Big Jim" or "Jungle Jim" were his nicknames given to him during his 10 year baseball career. He played for the Chicago White Sox from 52-61 and was a key part in the 1959 pennant winning team. He led the majors in triples in 1955 and stolen bases in 1956. He was known for many of his unique skills as a baseball player but none more than sliding head first into base. His love for baseball continued after his career and he was always willing to sit down and talk with others and sign autographs for the fans. After baseball, Jim owned and operated Captain's Cabin Restaurant and Lounge on Crooked Lake in Angola for 26 years, prior to his retirement. He was a lifetime member of the Elks, being named Elk of the year in 1969, and Celebrity of the year in 1991. He was also a member of the Major League Baseball Alumni Association, and the American Legion. Jim enjoyed playing golf until age 90, particularly with the Railroaders, and racquet ball until age 80. Surviving are his wife, Nancy (McLaughlin) Rivera of Fort Wayne; brothers, Howard (Antonia) Rivera of Puerto Rice, Gregory (Lucy) Rivera of Sunrise, FL; and sister-in-law, Janie (Phil) Caudill of Port Charlotte, FL. Jim was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Saltzman. A time for gathering and fellowship will be Friday, December 1, 2017 at D. O. McComb & Sons Maplewood Park Funeral Home, 4017 Maplecrest Road from 4 pm to 7 pm with a prayer service at 6:30 pm. Memorials may be made to the Turnstone Center, Fort Wayne Rescue Mission, or Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities. To sign the online guest book, go to


Condolence & Memory Journal

Nancy. Jim and I are so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. And wished I had been better at checking my messsges. John Marasovich instant messaged me and I missed it. We would of been there to celebrate his life. He was a very special man. Thinking of you and our prayers are with you

Posted by Linda Vasil - Fort Wayne, IN - Friend   January 05, 2018

Sorry to hear of Jim's passing. I saw him at the nursing home in Ft Wayne and we talked about Angola & the Cabin. I used to visit there often when I lived in Angola during my college days. He always knew I was there when a banana daquri was ordered and when you belong to me) by Jo Stanford was played on the jukebox! You will be missed,Jim

Posted by Stacey Kresler Milleman - Wolcottville, IN - Friend   December 19, 2017

We are sorry to learn of Jim's death. I will not be able to attend the service this Friday since I just got GWEN out of the hospital today for surgery on her knee.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Jim was like a second father to me during my days of working with him at the cabin I was able to see him last year when I visited him at the nursing home and we were able to share memories for a few minutes

Posted by John & Gwen Nigro - Fremont, IN - Friend   November 28, 2017

Will always remember working at the Cabin and the good times there. We weren't co-workers, we were family.

Posted by Matt Nodine - Pleasant Lake, IN - Friend   November 28, 2017

Memories are a significant comfort at these times and I certainly have many.
Sadly I will be out of town Fri. Will be thinking of you and Janie. Talk soon.

Posted by S. Sue Lagoni - ft. wayne, IN - Friend   November 28, 2017

Nancy, You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Linda Becker - Huntertown, IN - Friend   November 27, 2017

Nancy, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time.

Posted by Carole Reffner - Great Falls, MT   November 26, 2017


Posted by Arnold Fege - Washington, DC - Friend   November 20, 2017

Rest in Peace Jim......we'll always remember the happy times spent with you at Captain's Cabin....what a time and what a'll be greatly missed but we thank God for your kindness and friendship! Suzy and family

Posted by Suzy Adams - Angola, IN - Friend   November 20, 2017

Family Album