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

Ben  Cantwell

Born 13 Apr 1902 in Milan TN
Died 4 Dec 1962 at his home in Salem MO
Interred North Lawn Cemetery, Salem MO. GPS Coordinates - N 37° 40.032' - W 91° 31.328'
Debut Date 19 Aug 1927. Pitcher 11 Years.

Although others have come close, in 1935 he was the last pitcher to lose as many as 25 games in a single season. He coached baseball and moved to Salem 14 years before his death to assist with a baseball camp there. Died after an illness of several months.

Last Updated 18 Dec 2008.

Click here to see Ben Cantwell at Baseball Almanac

Click here to see Ben Cantwell at

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Fred Worth, Professor, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia AR