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


Jim  O'Rourke

Born 1 Sep 1850 in Bridgeport CT
Died 8 Jan 1919 at his home in Bridgeport CT
Interred St Michael's Cemetery, Stratford CT. Location - Section 2, Grave 10. GPS Coordinates - N 41° 11.022' - W 73° 09.063'
Debut Date 26 Apr 1872. Outfielder 19 Years. Manager 5 Years.
Hall of Fame. Inducted 1945.

On April 22, 1876, he had the first base hit in National League history. In 1904 he caught a full game becoming, at age 54, the oldest player ever to appear in the National League, and the oldest player to hit safely in a major league game. He owned and managed minor league teams and was president of two minor leagues in the Northeast. He also practiced law in Bridgeport, during and after his baseball career. Died from pneumonia.

Last Updated 15 Oct 2010.

Click here to see Jim O'Rourke at Baseball Almanac

Click here to see Jim O'Rourke at Baseball-Reference.com

Photo Courtesy of Stew Thornley