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

Jake  Beckley

Born 4 Aug 1867 in Hannibal MO
Died 25 Jun 1918 at his home in Kansas City MO
Interred Riverside Cemetery, Hannibal MO. GPS Coordinates - N 39° 42.033' - W 91° 20.487'
Debut Date 20 Jun 1888. Infielder 20 Years. Umpire 1 Year.
Hall of Fame. Inducted 1971.

He was the first player to play 20 years in the major leagues without ever playing on a pennant winning team. After his 20 year major league career he played minor league baseball another three years, until 1910. He umpired one National League game in 1906 and played semi-pro ball after that. He was known for his bunting ability, which he did with the bat handle out. Died from valvular heart disease, but suffered from throat cancer.

Last Updated 6 Apr 2009.

Click here to see Jake Beckley at Baseball Almanac

Click here to see Jake Beckley at

Photo Courtesy of Stew Thornley