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

Karl  Swanson

Born 17 Dec 1900 in North Henderson IL
Died 3 Apr 2002 at Trinity Medical Center in Rock Island IL
Interred Riverside Cemetery, Moline IL. Location - Section 13, Lot 249, Grave 3. GPS Coordinates - N 41° 30.324' - W 90° 29.475'
Debut Date 12 Aug 1928. Infielder 2 Years.

At the time of his death he was purported to be the oldest living former major leaguer. He owned and operated Swanson's Market in Rock Island and scouted for the Pirates, Red Sox and Cubs. Later he was a real estate salesman. Retiring to Avon Park FL in 1962, he ran for Florida State Senator on the Republican ticket in 1968.

Last Updated 4 Nov 2011.

Click here to see Karl Swanson at Baseball Almanac

Click here to see Karl Swanson at

Photo by Bill Lee