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

Bill  McGowan

Born 18 Jan 1896 in Wilmington
Died 9 Dec 1954 at his home in Silver Spring MD
Interred Cathedral Cemetery, Wilmington DE. Location - Section 3B, West Plot, Lot 124, Grave 1. GPS Coordinates - N 39° 44.722' - W 75° 34.863'
Debut Date 14 Apr 1925. Umpire 30 Years.
Hall of Fame. Inducted 1992.

He was an American League umpire from 1925 until his death. In one stretch he officiated 2541 consecutive games over a 16 1/2 year period without missing a game. He worked eight World Series and four All-Star Games. Died from a heart attack.

Last Updated 25 Oct 2011.

Photo Courtesy of Stew Thornley