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

Jack  Norworth

Born 5 Jan 1879 in Philadelphia PA
Died 1 Sep 1959 in Laguna Beach CA
Interred Melrose Abbey Memorial Park, Anaheim CA. Location - Carnation Lawn, Lot 638, Grave 1. GPS Coordinates - N 33° 47.602' - W 117° 53.740'

Although he had never been to a major league baseball game, in 1908 he wrote the lyrics to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Born John Godfrey Knauff, he changed his name to Jack Norworth because his show business occupation did not sit well with his religous family. He is credited with many popular numbers from the early twentieth century, including "Shine on, Harvest Moon."; "Back to My Old Home Town"; "Come Along, My Mandy"; "Dear Dolly"; "Good Evening, Caroline"; "Holding Hands"; "Honey Boy"; "I'm Glad I'm a Boy/I'm Glad I'm a Girl"; "I'm Glad I'm Married"; "Kitty"; "Meet Me in Apple Blossom Time"; "Over on the Jersey Side"; "Since My Mother Was a Girl"; "Sing an Irish Song"; "Smarty" and "Turn Off Your Light, Mr. Moon Man." Not only a songwriter, he was also a singer, vaudeville performer and actor, appearing in a number of Broadway theater productions and early sound films. Died from a heart attack.

Last Updated 30 Sep 2012.

Photos by Bill Lee