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

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

Piper  Davis

Born 3 Jul 1917 in Piper AL
Died 21 May 1997 at Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham AL
Interred Elmwood Cemetery, Birmingham AL. Location - Block 51, Lot 296. GPS Coordinates - N 33° 29.113' - W 86° 50.956'

Played in the negro leagues. In 1950 he was the first black player signed by the Red Sox, but he never played in the major leagues. Also a skilled basketball player, he played for the Harlem Globetrotters during the off-season throughout his baseball career. He played and managed minor league baseball until age 41. In the 1970s and 1980s he was a scout for the Tigers, Cardinals and Expos. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall Of Fame in 1993. Died from a heart attack.

Last Updated 17 Oct 2011.

Photos by Bill Lee