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 baseballundertaker.com/gravesites.html.

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


Fred  Donovan

Born 4 Jul 1864 in Epping NH
Died 7 Mar 1916 at St John's Hospital in Springfield IL
Interred Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield IL. Location - Block 21, Section 6, Range A, Grave 17. GPS Coordinates - N 39° 49.380' - W 89° 39.683'
Debut Date 23 Jun 1895. Catcher 1 Year.

He played and umpired in the Three-I League. When he died he was working at the Illinois Watch Factory in Springfield. Died from Bright's disease.

Last Updated 1 Oct 2010.

Click here to see Fred Donovan at Baseball Almanac

Click here to see Fred Donovan at Baseball-Reference.com

Photo by Bill Lee