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List of baseball players who died during their careers

This is a list of baseball players who died during their careers. These deaths occurred during a game, due to illness, results of accidents, acts of violence, or suicide.

Repeated studies have shown that Major League Baseball players have a greater life expectancy than males in the general U.S. population — about five years more, on average, which is attributed to their superior fitness and healthy lifestyles. The longer the active career, the longer the player lives, on average. This correlation is attributed to the maintenance of fitness and increased wealth.[1]

Deaths of active playersEdit

This is a list of notable deaths in baseball and untimely deaths of active professional baseball players.

  Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame

Major League BaseballEdit

The following Major League Baseball players died during their careers.

Player Age Position Team Cause of death Year Ref(s)
Nick Adenhart 22 Pitcher Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim car crash 2009 [2]
Harry Agganis 26 First baseman Boston Red Sox pulmonary embolism 1955 [2]
Francisco Barrios 28 Pitcher Milwaukee Brewers heart attack 1982
Steve Bechler 23 Pitcher Baltimore Orioles complications from use of ephedra 2003 [3]
Cy Bentley 22 Pitcher Middletown Mansfields tuberculosis 1873 [4]
Marty Bergen 28 Catcher Boston Beaneaters suicide 1900
Bill Blair 26 Pitcher Chicago Cubs influenza 1890
Tony Boeckel 31 Third baseman Boston Braves car crash 1924
Walt Bond 29 Outfielder Minnesota Twins leukemia 1967
Tiny Bonham 36 Pitcher Pittsburgh Pirates appendicitis 1949
Lyman Bostock 27 Outfielder California Angels homicide, gunshot 1978 [5]
Hal Carlson 38 Pitcher Chicago Cubs stomach hemorrhage 1930
Joe Cassidy 23 Shortstop Washington Senators purpura hemorrhagia 1906
Ray Chapman 29 Shortstop Cleveland Indians struck on head by a pitch during a game 1920 [2]
Larry Chappell 27 Outfielder Boston Braves influenza 1918
Néstor Chávez 21 Pitcher San Francisco Giants plane crash 1969
Roberto Clemente  38 Outfielder Pittsburgh Pirates plane crash 1972 [2]
King Cole 29 Pitcher New York Yankees lung cancer 1916 [6]
Hub Collins 28 Second baseman Brooklyn Dodgers typhoid fever 1892
Tim Crews 31 Pitcher Cleveland Indians boat accident (with Steve Olin) 1993 [2]
Amos Cross 28 Catcher Louisville Colonels tuberculosis 1888 [7]
Jay Dahl 19 Pitcher Houston Colt .45s car crash 1965
Mike Darr 25 Outfielder San Diego Padres car crash 2002 [2]
Jake Daubert 40 First baseman Cincinnati Reds appendicitis 1924
Ed Delahanty  35 Outfielder Washington Senators drowned, swept over Niagara Falls 1903 [2]
Pickles Dillhoefer 28 Catcher St. Louis Cardinals typhoid fever 1922
Cozy Dolan 34 Outfielder Boston Braves typhoid fever 1907
Jim Doyle 30 Third baseman Chicago Cubs appendicitis 1912
Paul Edmondson 27 Pitcher Chicago White Sox car crash 1970
Charlie Ferguson 25 Pitcher Philadelphia Phillies typhoid fever 1888
José Fernández 24 Pitcher Miami Marlins boat accident 2016 [8][9]
Neal Finn 29 Second baseman Philadelphia Phillies duodenal ulcer 1933
Jim Fogarty 27 Outfielder Philadelphia Phillies tuberculosis 1891
Danny Frisella 30 Pitcher Milwaukee Brewers dune buggy crash 1977 [2]
Miguel Fuentes 23 Pitcher Seattle Pilots homicide, gunshot 1970
Tom Gastall 24 Catcher Baltimore Orioles plane crash 1956
Elmer Gedeon 27 Outfielder Washington Senators killed during World War II serving in United States Army Air Forces 1944
Marv Goodwin 34 Pitcher Cincinnati Reds plane crash 1925
Eddie Grant 35 Second baseman New York Giants killed during World War I serving in United States Army 1918
Marc Hall 27 Pitcher Detroit Tigers diabetes 1915
Greg Halman 24 Outfielder Seattle Mariners homicide, stabbing 2011 [2][10]
Josh Hancock 29 Pitcher St. Louis Cardinals car crash 2007
Tommy Hanson 29 Pitcher Anaheim Angels organ failure related to cocaine toxicity 2015 [11]
Clyde Hatter 29 Pitcher Detroit Tigers heart attack 1937
Willard Hershberger 30 Catcher Cincinnati Reds suicide 1940
Herman Hill 25 Outfielder Minnesota Twins drowned while swimming 1970
Charlie Hodes 27 Catcher/Outfielder Brooklyn Atlantics tuberculosis 1875 [12]
Ken Hubbs 22 Second baseman Chicago Cubs plane crash 1964 [2]
Addie Joss  31 Pitcher Cleveland Indians meningitis 1911 [2]
Joe Kennedy 28 Pitcher Toronto Blue Jays[13] hypertensive heart disease 2007 [2]
Darryl Kile 33 Pitcher St. Louis Cardinals heart attack 2002 [2]
Len Koenecke 31 Outfielder Brooklyn Dodgers cerebral hemorrhage sustained during a fight on an airplane 1935
Jim Korwan 25 Pitcher Chicago Colts tuberculosis 1899
Joe Leonard 26 Third baseman Washington Senators appendicitis 1920
Walter Lerian 26 Catcher Philadelphia Phillies car crash 1929
Cory Lidle 34 Pitcher New York Yankees plane crash 2006 [2]
Pat Luby 30 Pitcher Louisville Colonels tuberculosis 1899
Steve Macko 27 Infielder Chicago Cubs testicular cancer 1981
Dan McGann 39 First baseman New York Giants suicide by gun 1910 [14]
Austin McHenry 27 Outfielder St. Louis Cardinals brain tumor 1922
Doc McJames 27 Pitcher Brooklyn Superbas tuberculosis, complicated by injuries sustained in a carriage accident 1901
Alex McKinnon 30 First baseman Pittsburgh Alleghenys typhoid fever 1887
Edgar McNabb 28 Pitcher Baltimore Orioles suicide 1894
Win Mercer 28 Pitcher Detroit Tigers suicide 1903
Mike Miley 23 Shortstop California Angels car crash 1977 [2]
Tom Miller 26 Catcher St. Louis Brown Stockings indeterminate illness 1876 [15]
Al Montgomery 21 Catcher Boston Braves car crash 1942
Bob Moose 29 Pitcher Pittsburgh Pirates car crash 1976 [2]
Ed Morris 32 Pitcher Boston Red Sox homicide, stabbing 1932 [2]
Thurman Munson 32 Catcher New York Yankees plane crash 1979 [2]
Tom O'Brien 27 Outfielder Pittsburgh Pirates pneumonia 1901
Harry O'Neill 27 Catcher Philadelphia Athletics killed during World War II serving in United States Marine Corps 1945
Steve Olin 27 Pitcher Cleveland Indians boat accident (with Tim Crews) 1993 [2]
Jiggs Parrott 26 Third baseman Chicago Colts tuberculosis 1898
Charlie Peete 27 Outfielder St. Louis Cardinals plane crash 1956
Doc Powers 38 Catcher Philadelphia Athletics peritonitis arising from surgery complications following an in-game injury 1909
Jim Ritz 22 Third baseman Pittsburgh Pirates typhoid fever 1896
Jim Rogers 27 First baseman Louisville Colonels unknown 1900
Chico Ruiz 33 Infielder California Angels car crash 1972 [2]
Jimmy Sebring 27 Outfielder Washington Senators Bright's disease 1909
Ralph Sharman 23 Outfielder Philadelphia Athletics drowned while swimming during military training 1918
Mike Sharperson 34 Infielder San Diego Padres car crash 1996 [16]
Tyler Skaggs 27 Pitcher Los Angeles Angels overdose 2019 [17]
Len Sowders 27 Outfielder Baltimore Orioles typhoid malaria 1888
Chick Stahl 34 Outfielder Boston Red Sox suicide by ingestion of carbolic acid 1907 [18]
Dernell Stenson 25 Outfielder Cincinnati Reds homicide, gunshot 2003 [2]
Alan Storke 25 Infielder Cincinnati Reds general streptococcus due to empyema 1910 [19]
Sy Sutcliffe 30 Catcher Baltimore Orioles Bright's disease 1893 [20]
Oscar Taveras 22 Outfielder St. Louis Cardinals car crash 2014 [21]
Jack Taylor 26 Pitcher Cincinnati Reds nephritis 1900
Al Thake 22 Outfielder Brooklyn Atlantics drowned while fishing 1872
Danny Thompson 29 Shortstop Texas Rangers leukemia 1976
Jim Umbricht 33 Pitcher Houston Colt .45s malignant melanoma 1964
Yordano Ventura 25 Pitcher Kansas City Royals car crash 2017 [22]
Dick Wantz 25 Pitcher California Angels inoperable brain tumor 1965
Elmer White 22 Outfielder Cleveland Forest Citys tuberculosis 1872 [23]
Don Wilson 29 Pitcher Houston Astros carbon monoxide poisoning 1975 [2][24]
Cliff Young 29 Pitcher Cleveland Indians car crash 1993
Ross Youngs  30 Outfielder New York Giants Bright's disease 1927

Former players of Major League Baseball still active in professional baseball at the time of their death.

Player Age Position Last MLB Season Last MLB Team Last Team Cause of death Year Ref(s)
José Castillo 37 Infielder 2008 Houston Astros Cardenales de Lara car accident (with Valbuena) 2018 [25]
Andújar Cedeño 31 Shortstop 1996 Houston Astros Azucareros del Este car accident 2000
Miguel del Toro 29 Pitcher 2000 San Francisco Giants Seibu Lions car accident 2001
Joe DeSa 27 First baseman 1985 Chicago White Sox Ponce Lions car accident 1986
Bo Díaz 37 Catcher 1989 Cincinnati Reds Caracas Lions crushed by a falling satellite dish 1990 [26]
John Dodge 27 Third baseman 1913 Cincinnati Reds Mobile Sea Gulls hit by a pitch in a game (minor league) 1916
Mario Encarnación 30 Outfielder 2002 Chicago Cubs Macoto Cobras congenital disorder 2005
Howie Fox 34 Pitcher 1954 Baltimore Orioles San Antonio Missions homicide, stabbing 1955 [27]
Rosman García 32 Pitcher 2004 Texas Rangers Tigres de Aragua car accident 2011
Geremi González 33 Pitcher 2006 Milwaukee Brewers Yomiuri Giants lightning strike 2008 [28]
Miguel Alfredo González 34 Pitcher 2015 Philadelphia Phillies Free agent car accident 2017 [29]
Dixie Howell 40 Pitcher 1958 Chicago White Sox Indianapolis Indians heart attack 1960
John LeRoy 26 Pitcher 1997 Atlanta Braves Sioux City Explorers heart attack and brain aneurysm 2001
José Lima 37 Pitcher 2006 New York Mets Aguilas Cibaenas heart attack 2010
Andy Marte 33 Infielder 2014 Arizona Diamondbacks KT Wiz car accident 2017 [30]
José Oliva 26 Third baseman 1995 St. Louis Cardinals Brother Elephants car accident 1997
Kenny Robinson 29 Pitcher 1997 Toronto Blue Jays AZL Diamondbacks car crash 1999
Luis Valbuena 33 Infielder 2018 Los Angeles Angels Cardenales de Lara car accident (with Castillo) 2018 [25]
Daniel Webb 28 Relief pitcher 2016 Chicago White Sox Free agent all-terrain vehicle accident 2017

Minor League BaseballEdit

Minor league players are listed with their major league affiliate team, else denoted with a dagger ( ) if their team was unaffiliated.

Player Age Position Team Cause of death Year Ref(s)
Evan Chambers 24 Outfielder Pittsburgh Pirates heart defect 2013 [31]
Brian Cole 22 Outfielder New York Mets car accident 2001 [32]
Alfredo Edmead 17 Outfielder Pittsburgh Pirates brain trauma from in-game outfield collision 1974 [33]
Lute Freeland 28 Pitcher New Orleans Pelicans  blood poisoning 1902 [34][35][36][37]
Happy Hogan 37 Catcher/Manager Vernon Tigers  pneumonia 1915 [38]
Doug Million 21 Pitcher Colorado Rockies asthma attack 1997 [39]
Chace Numata 27 Catcher Detroit Tigers injuries sustained in skateboarding accident 2019 [40]
Victor Sanchez 20 Pitcher Seattle Mariners injuries sustained from being hit by a boat while swimming 2015 [2]

Negro League BaseballEdit

Player Age Position Team Cause of death Year
Josh Gibson  35 Catcher Homestead Grays brain tumor and stroke 1947
Porter Moss 34 Pitcher Memphis Red Sox homicide, gunshot 1944
Pythias Russ 26 Catcher Chicago American Giants tuberculosis 1930
Chino Smith 28 Outfielder Lincoln Giants yellow fever 1932
Frank Warfield 35 Second baseman/manager Washington Pilots heart attack 1932
Charlie Williams 27 Shortstop Chicago American Giants ptomaine poisoning 1931

Dutch League BaseballEdit

Player Age Position Team Cause of death Year
Hartog Hamburger 37 Infielder OVVO hit by line drive ball on head 1924

College baseballEdit

Player Age Position Team Cause of death Year
Donny Everett 19 Pitcher Vanderbilt drowned 2016

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Saint Onge, Rogers & Krueger 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Dittmeier, Bobbie (November 21, 2011). "Tragic deaths of Major Leaguers". MLB.com. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  3. ^ Murphy, Jarrett (February 17, 2003). "Ephedra Tied To Pitcher's Death". CBS News. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  4. ^ Arcidiacono, David. Major League Baseball in Gilded Age Connecticut: The Rise and Fall of the Middletown, New Haven and Hartford Clubs, McFarland, 2009, p. 195. ISBN 0786436778
  5. ^ Pearlman, Jeff. "Fifth and Jackson". espn.go.com. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  6. ^ "'King' Cole, Yank Pitcher Is Dead". The Washington Post. January 7, 1916. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  7. ^ Egan, James M. Base Ball on the Western Reserve: The Early Game in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, Year by Year and Town by Town, 1865–1900, McFarland, 2008, p. 162.
  8. ^ http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/17632541/miami-marlins-ace-jose-fernandez-dies-boating-accident
  9. ^ https://sports.yahoo.com/news/marlins-star-jose-fernandez-dies-in-boating-accident-131251128.html
  10. ^ (in Dutch) Honkballer Halman omgekomen bij steekpartij
  11. ^ Bowman, Mark (November 11, 2015). "Former Braves, Angels pitcher Hanson dies at 29". MLB.com. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  12. ^ Russo, Frank. The Cooperstown Chronicles: Baseball's Colorful Characters, Unusual Lives, and Strange Demises, Rowman & Littlefield, 2014, p. 91. ISBN 144223640X
  13. ^ Technically, Kennedy was a free agent at the time of his death, having been granted free agency by Toronto on October 29, 2007.
  14. ^ "Dan McGann a Suicide – Giants' Former Captain Shoots Himself in a Hotel at Louisville". New York Times. December 14, 910. p. 14. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  15. ^ Hershberger, Richard. "SABR Baseball Biography Project – Tom Miller", sabr.org, November 17, 2011.
  16. ^ Nightengale, Bob (May 27, 1996). "Sharperson, Former Dodger, Dies in Crash". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  17. ^ Bollinger, Rhett (July 1, 2019). "Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs passes away". MLB.com. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  18. ^ ""Chick" Stahl A Suicide – Late Boston Manager Takes Carbolic Acid at West Baden". New York Times. March 29, 1907. p. 11. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  19. ^ "Alan Storke Dies Suddenly" (PDF). The New York Times. March 19, 1910. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  20. ^ "Sy Sutcliffe". sabr.org. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  21. ^ Brown, David (July 20, 2015). "Life Without Oscar". cbssports.com. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  22. ^ Kalland, Robby (January 22, 2017). "Royals Pitcher Yordano Ventura Was Killed In A Fatal Car Accident In The Dominican Republic". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  23. ^ Batesel, Paul. Players and Teams of the National Association, 1871–1875, McFarland, 2012, p. 131. ISBN 0786490764
  24. ^ "Wilson of Astros Is Found Dead". The New York Times. January 6, 1975. Archived from the original on November 27, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  25. ^ a b Fletcher, Jeff (December 6, 2018). "Former Angels infielder Luis Valbuena killed in car accident in Venezuela". Orange County Register. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  26. ^ "Diaz Crushed to Death in Accident". The New York Times. Associated Press. 24 November 1990. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  27. ^ Howie Fox stabbed to death. Telegraph Herald. October 9, 1955. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  28. ^ "Former MLB pitcher Gonzalez killed by lightning strike". ESPN.com. May 26, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  29. ^ "Former Cuban star and Phillies pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez dies at 34". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  30. ^ Axisa, Mike (January 22, 2017). "Former top MLB prospect Andy Marte, 33, killed in car crash". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  31. ^ "Honoring Evan: Chambers Nights Held Where He Played Baseball". July 8, 2014. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  32. ^ "The Best Player You Never Saw". Sports Illustrated. April 1, 2013. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  33. ^ "Doughty: 1974 death of Alfredo Edmead still haunts". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  34. ^ "New Orleans 4, Nashville 0". The Times. Shreveport, Louisiana. July 28, 1902. p. 5. Retrieved May 3, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
  35. ^ "Pitcher Freeland's Funeral". The Times-Democrat. New Orleans. July 29, 1902. p. 9. Retrieved May 3, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
  36. ^ "Chat of the Game". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, Kentucky. July 31, 1902. p. 7. Retrieved May 3, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
  37. ^ "Lute Freeland Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  38. ^ "Assumed Names–Happy Hogan". Baseball History Daily. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  39. ^ Hutchinson, Barney (September 24, 1997). "Million dies of asthma attack". The Hastings Star Gazette. Hastings, Minnesota – via thedeadballera.com.
  40. ^ Guillen, Joe; Seidel, Jeff. "Detroit Tigers minor leaguer Chace Numata dies from injuries in skateboarding accident". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2019-09-02.

SourcesEdit

  • Abrunzo, Thomas (1991), "Commotio Cordis: The Single, Most Common Cause of Traumatic Death in Youth Baseball", American Journal of Diseases of Children, 145 (11): 1279–1282, doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160110071023, PMID 1951221
  • Gorman, Robert; Weeks, David (2009), Death at the Ballpark: A Comprehensive Study of Game-related Fatalities of Players, Other Personnel and Spectators in Amateur and Professional Baseball, 1862–2007, McFarland, ISBN 9780786452545
  • Lawless, Molly (2012), Hit by Pitch: Ray Chapman, Carl Mays and the Fatal Fastball, McFarland, ISBN 9780786484843
  • Lennox, Doug (2010), Now You Know Baseball, Dundurn, ISBN 9781770705883
  • Light, Jonathan (2005), "Deaths", The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball, pp. 246–250, ISBN 0-7864-2087-1
  • Saint Onge, Jarron; Rogers, Richard; Krueger, Patrick (July 17, 2008), "Major League Baseball Players' Life Expectancies", Social Science Quarterly, 89 (3): 817–830, doi:10.1111/j.1540-6237.2008.00562.x, PMC 2743321, PMID 19756205

Further readingEdit

  • Lee, Bill (2009), Baseball Necrology, McFarland, ISBN 978-0786442393
  • Bedingfield, Gary (2009), Baseball's Dead of World War II, ISBN 978-0786444540
  • Baltov, Victor (2010), "Jaws (There is a Shark in the Water)", Baseball Is America, AuthorHouse, pp. 253–276, ISBN 9781452004884