Bill Lee presents The Baseball Necrology - Live

My wife, LaVonne, and I spent a number of years researching the information that went into The Baseball Necrology, a book that was published by McFarland and Company, Publishers, in 2004. The intent of that research was to find what baseball players, whose playing careers are relatively short, did after their baseball careers. In most cases that information can only be found in obituaries. Consequently, our research became a “death” thing and was compounded when McFarland put the word “Necrology” into the title of the book. Thus, our research became a short abstract of obituaries (necrologies) for every player who had appeared in a major league game since 1876.

Since the book was published in 2004 baseball players have continued to die. From that time until the end of 2013 I continued to maintain current player’s deaths on this website that contains all the material in the book plus player’s deaths since the book was published. This website also contains photos of gravesite memorials for more than 2,000 players. An index to those player’s records that have gravesite photos may be found at baseballundertaker.com/gravesites.html.

Sadly, the baseball necrology project came to a halt at the end of 2013 as more pressing projects, which had been put on the back burner, needed attention. So, with rare exception, short obituaries of every baseball player that ever appeared in a major league game since 1876 and had died prior to 2014 appears on this site. Just enter a player’s name, point, click and enjoy.

Bill Lee


Hoyt  Wilhelm

Born 26 Jul 1922 in Huntersville NC
Died 23 Aug 2002 in Sarasota FL
Interred Palms Memorial Park, Sarasota FL. Location - Field of Honor East, 132-D1. GPS Coordinates - N 27° 20.143' - W 82° 27.858'
Debut Date 19 Apr 1952. Pitcher 21 Years.
Hall of Fame. Inducted 1985.

Served in Europe for the U S Army during World War II. Wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, he was the recipient of the Purple Heart. He hit a home run in his first major league at-bat, never to homer again in his 21-year career. In 1958 he pitched a no-hitter in his first game as a starter and in 1972 he was the last World War II veteran to play in the major leagues. He managed minor league baseball and was a pitching coach in the Braves and Yankee organizations. He was the first relief pitcher inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1996 he was inducted into the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame. Died from heart failure.

Last Updated 21 Nov 2009.

Click here to see Hoyt Wilhelm at Baseball Almanac

Click here to see Hoyt Wilhelm at Baseball-Reference.com

Photo Courtesy of Stew Thornley