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

Willard  Brown

Born 26 Jun 1915 in Shreveport LA
Died 4 Aug 1996 in Houston TX
Interred Houston National Cemetery, Houston TX. Location - Section G2, Grave 3906. GPS Coordinates - N 29° 55.745' - W 95° 26.850'
Debut Date 19 Jul 1947. Outfielder 1 Year.
Hall of Fame. Inducted 2006.

Served in Europe for the U S Army during World War II. He played 17 seasons in the Negro Leagues, all with the Kansas City Monarchs, five seasons in the minors and ten seasons playing in Puerto Rico. During his brief major league career he became the first black player to hit a home run in the American League. Died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Playing four seasons in the Texas League where he hit .307, he was inducted posthumously into the Texas League Hall of Fame in 2006.

Last Updated 22 Feb 2010.

Click here to see Willard Brown at Baseball Almanac

Click here to see Willard Brown at

Photo by Bill Lee