List of baseball players who died during their careers

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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 players[edit]

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

dagger Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame

Major League Baseball[edit]

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 automobile accident 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, cut his own throat 1900
Bill Blair 26 Pitcher Chicago Cubs[5] influenza 1890
Tony Boeckel 31 Third baseman Boston Braves automobile accident 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 [6]
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]
Néstor Chávez 21 Pitcher San Francisco Giants plane crash 1969
Roberto Clementedagger 38 Outfielder Pittsburgh Pirates plane crash 1972 [2]
King Cole 29 Pitcher New York Yankees lung cancer 1916 [7]
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 [8]
Mike Darr 25 Outfielder San Diego Padres automobile accident 2002 [2]
Jake Daubert 40 First baseman Cincinnati Reds appendicitis 1924
Ed Delahantydagger 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 automobile accident 1970
Charlie Ferguson 25 Pitcher Philadelphia Quakers typhoid fever 1888
José Fernández 24 Pitcher Miami Marlins boat accident 2016 [9][10]
Neal Finn 29 Second baseman Philadelphia Phillies duodenal ulcer 1933
Jim Fogarty 27 Outfielder Philadelphia Athletics 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[11] killed during World War II serving in United States Army Air Forces 1944
Marv Goodwin 34 Pitcher Cincinnati Reds plane crash 1925
Marc Hall 27 Pitcher Detroit Tigers diabetes 1915
Greg Halman 24 Outfielder Seattle Mariners homicide, stabbing 2011 [2][12]
Josh Hancock 29 Pitcher St. Louis Cardinals automobile accident 2007
Clyde Hatter 29 Pitcher Detroit Tigers heart attack 1937
Willard Hershberger 30 Catcher Cincinnati Reds suicide, cut his own throat 1940
Herman Hill 25 Outfielder St. Louis Cardinals drowned while swimming 1970
Charlie Hodes 27 Catcher/Outfielder Brooklyn Atlantics tuberculosis 1875 [13]
Ken Hubbs 22 Second baseman Chicago Cubs plane crash 1964 [2]
Addie Jossdagger 31 Pitcher Cleveland Indians meningitis 1911 [2]
Joe Kennedy 28 Pitcher Toronto Blue Jays[14] 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 automobile accident 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
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, gunshot 1894
Win Mercer 28 Pitcher Detroit Tigers suicide by inhalation of illuminating gas 1903
Mike Miley 23 Shortstop California Angels automobile accident 1977 [2]
Tom Miller 26 Catcher St. Louis Brown Stockings indeterminate illness 1876 [15]
Al Montgomery 21 Catcher Boston Braves automobile accident 1942
Bob Moose 29 Pitcher Pittsburgh Pirates automobile accident 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
Steve Olin 27 Pitcher Cleveland Indians boat accident (with Tim Crews) 1993 [2]
Doc Powers 38 Catcher Philadelphia Athletics peritonitis arising from surgery complications following an in-game injury 1909
Jimmy Sebring 27 Outfielder Washington Senators Bright's disease 1909
Ralph Sharman[16] 23 Outfielder Philadelphia Athletics drowned while swimming during military training during WWI 1918
Mike Sharperson 34 Infielder San Diego Padres automobile accident 1996 [17]
Tyler Skaggs 27 Pitcher Los Angeles Angels accidental drug overdose 2019 [18]
Len Sowders 27 Outfielder Baltimore Orioles typhoid malaria 1888
Chick Stahl 34 Outfielder Boston Red Sox suicide by ingestion of carbolic acid 1907 [19]
Dernell Stenson 25 Outfielder Cincinnati Reds homicide, gunshot 2003 [2]
Alan Storke 25 Infielder Cincinnati Reds general streptococcus due to empyema 1910 [20]
Sy Sutcliffe 30 Catcher Baltimore Orioles Bright's disease 1893 [21]
Oscar Taveras 22 Outfielder St. Louis Cardinals automobile accident 2014 [22]
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 automobile accident 2017 [23]
Dick Wantz 25 Pitcher California Angels inoperable brain tumor 1965
Elmer White 22 Outfielder Cleveland Forest Citys tuberculosis 1872 [24]
Don Wilson 29 Pitcher Houston Astros carbon monoxide poisoning 1975 [2][25]
Cliff Young 29 Pitcher Cleveland Indians automobile accident 1993
Ross Youngsdagger 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[edit]

Player Age Position Last MLB Team Last Pro Team Cause of death Year Ref(s)
José Castillo 37 Infielder Houston Astros Cardenales de Lara car accident, murdered (with Luis Valbuena) 2018 [26]
Andújar Cedeño 31 Shortstop Houston Astros Azucareros del Este car accident 2000
Harry Chapman 32 Catcher St. Louis Browns Little Rock Travelers injuries sustained serving in the military during WWI 1918
Larry Chappell 28 Outfielder Boston Braves Salt Lake City Bees influenza, while serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during WWI 1918
Jay Dahl 19 Pitcher Houston Colt .45s Salisbury Astros automobile accident 1965
Miguel del Toro 29 Pitcher San Francisco Giants Seibu Lions car accident 2001
Joe DeSa 27 First baseman Chicago White Sox Ponce Lions car accident 1986
Bo Díaz 37 Catcher Cincinnati Reds Caracas Lions crushed by a falling satellite dish 1990 [27]
John Dodge 27 Third baseman Cincinnati Reds Mobile Sea Gulls hit by a pitch in a game (minor league) 1916
Mario Encarnación 30 Outfielder Chicago Cubs Macoto Cobras congenital disorder 2005
Howie Fox 34 Pitcher Baltimore Orioles San Antonio Missions homicide, stabbing 1955 [28]
Rosman García 32 Pitcher Texas Rangers Tigres de Aragua car accident 2011
Harry Glenn 28 Catcher St. Louis Cardinals St. Paul Saints pneumonia, while serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during WWI 1918
Geremi González 33 Pitcher Milwaukee Brewers Yomiuri Giants lightning strike 2008 [29]
Miguel Alfredo González 34 Pitcher Philadelphia Phillies Free agent car accident 2017 [30]
Herb Gorman 28 Left fielder St. Louis Cardinals San Diego Padres cardiac arrest 1953 [31]
Tommy Hanson 29 Pitcher Los Angeles Angels Sacramento River Cats organ failure related to cocaine toxicity 2015 [32]
Dixie Howell 40 Pitcher Chicago White Sox Indianapolis Indians heart attack 1960
Pat Hynes 23 Outfielder St. Louis Browns Milwaukee Brewers homicide 1907 [33]
John LeRoy 26 Pitcher Atlanta Braves Sioux City Explorers heart attack and brain aneurysm 2001
José Lima 37 Pitcher New York Mets Aguilas Cibaenas heart attack 2010
Andy Marte 33 Infielder Arizona Diamondbacks KT Wiz car accident 2017 [34]
Dan McGann 39 First baseman New York Giants Milwaukee Brewers suicide, gunshot 1910 [35]
José Oliva 26 Third baseman St. Louis Cardinals Brother Elephants car accident 1997
Jiggs Parrott 26 Third baseman Chicago Colts Dubuque Westerns tuberculosis 1898
Charlie Peete 27 Outfielder St. Louis Cardinals Omaha Cardinals plane crash 1956
Jim Ritz 22 Third baseman Pittsburgh Pirates Washington Little Senators typhoid fever 1896
Kenny Robinson 29 Pitcher Toronto Blue Jays AZL Diamondbacks automobile accident 1999
Chico Ruiz 33 Infielder California Angels Salt Lake City Angels automobile accident 1972 [2]
Jim Rogers 27 First baseman Louisville Colonels Norwich Witches unknown 1900
Luis Valbuena 33 Infielder Los Angeles Angels Cardenales de Lara car accident, murdered (with José Castillo) 2018 [26][36]
Daniel Webb 28 Relief pitcher Chicago White Sox Free agent all-terrain vehicle accident 2017
Denny Williams 29 Center fielder Boston Red Sox Portland Beavers automobile accident 1929 [37]

Minor League Baseball[edit]

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

Player Age Position Last team Organization Cause of death Year Ref(s)
Malcom Anderson 23 Third baseman San Francisco Haverlys cardiac arrest 1888 [38]
Jesse Batterton 19 Second baseman Springfield Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals struck on the head by a pitch 1933 [39]
Thomas Burke 26 Left fielder Lynn Shoemakers struck on the head by a pitch 1906 [40]
Jairo Capellan 19 Pitcher DSL Reds Cincinnati Reds automobile accident 2018 [41]
Bobby Joe Case 24 Infielder Mobile Bears New York Mets automobile accident 1962 [42]
Evan Chambers 24 Outfielder GCL Pirates Pittsburgh Pirates heart defect 2013 [43]
Louis Chedo 23 Pitcher Decatur Commodores struck on the head by a pitch 1925 [44]
Thomas Coates Outfielder Oshkosh Indians unintentional discharge of firearm 1909 [45]
William Coffey 22 Pitcher Pampa Oilers automobile accident 1951 [46]
Brian Cole 22 Outfielder Scottsdale Scorpions New York Mets automobile accident 2001 [47]
Dick Conway 19 Catcher Twin Falls Cowboys New York Yankees struck in the heart by a thrown ball 1951 [48]
Ryan Costello 23 Infielder Pensacola Blue Wahoos Minnesota Twins natural causes 2019 [49]
Aaron Cox 24 Pitcher Inland Empire 66ers Los Angeles Angels unknown 2018 [50]
James Davis 20 Outfielder Ballinger Cats struck on the head by a pitch 1947 [51]
Linus Ebnet 23 Shortstop Winnipeg Maroons struck on the head by a pitch 1938 [51]
Alfredo Edmead 17 Outfielder Salem Pirates Pittsburgh Pirates brain trauma from in-game outfield collision 1974 [52]
Lute Freeland 28 Pitcher New Orleans Pelicans blood poisoning 1902 [53][54]
Miguel Gonzalez 21 Pitcher DSL Orioles Baltimore Orioles car accident 2017 [55]
Louis Henke First baseman Atlanta Atlantas internal bleeding from a collision on the base path 1885 [56]
Red Herbert 18 First baseman Dayton Veterans internal bleeding from a collision on the base path 1904 [57]
Happy Hogan 37 Catcher / Manager Vernon Tigers pneumonia 1915 [58]
Ossie Johnson Outfielder Oakland Oaks blood poisoning 1924 [59]
Ottis Johnson 24 Outfielder Dothan Browns struck on the head by a pitch 1951 [60]
Anthony Latham 21 Outfielder Winston-Salem Red Sox Boston Red Sox boat accident 1983 [61]
Pete Mann 27 Third baseman Macon Peaches struck in the chest by a pitch 1927 [62][63]
Doug Million 21 Pitcher New Haven Ravens Colorado Rockies asthma attack 1997 [64]
Ernest Nichols 22 Pitcher Spokane Indians cardiac arrest 1903 [65]
Chace Numata 27 Catcher Erie SeaWolves Detroit Tigers injuries sustained in skateboarding accident 2019 [66]
Bob Osgood 19 Catcher Marion Cubs Chicago Cubs cardiac arrest 1948 [67]
Charles Pinkney 20 Second basemen Dayton Veterans struck on the head by a pitch 1909 [68]
Billy Rakes 24 Third basemen Reidsville Luckies automobile accident 1953 [69]
Ernest Regenold 25 Pitcher Springfield Senators cardiac arrest and heat stroke 1926 [70]
Russell Reynolds 24 Catcher Huntington Red Birds struck on the head by a pitch 1935 [71]
Lionel Rodgers 21 Utility Fresno Giants San Francisco Giants automobile accident 1961 [72]
Ronaldo Romero 19 Pitcher Gastonia Rangers Texas Rangers cardiomyopathy, Supac use was a contributing factor 1990 [73]
Victor Sanchez 20 Pitcher Leones del Caracas Seattle Mariners struck by a boat while swimming 2015 [2]
Fausto Segura 23 Pitcher Auburn Doubledays Washington Nationals Motorcycle accident 2020 [74]
Bill Seinsoth 22 First basemen Bakersfield Dodgers Los Angeles Dodgers automobile accident 1969 [75]
Leo Smith 19 Third baseman Kokomo Wild Cats internal bleeding from a collision on the base path 1909 [76]
Mac Smith 23 Infielder Hagerstown Packets Washington Senators cardiac arrest 1954 [77]
Andy Strong 24 Center fielder Crowley Millers lightning strike during game 1951 [78]
George Tkach 21 Second baseman Superior Blues struck on the head by a pitch 1936 [79]
Casey Thomas 24 Infielder Arizona League Athletics Oakland Athletics painkiller overdose 2017 [80]
Herbert Whitney 27 Catcher Burlington Pathfinders struck on the head by a pitch 1906 [81]
Lefty Wycoff Pitcher Canton Terriers struck by automobile 1929 [82]

Nippon Professional Baseball[edit]

Player Age Position Team Cause of death Year Ref(s)
Hiroyuki Oze 24 Outfielder Orix Buffaloes suicide 2010

Negro leagues[edit]

Player Age Position Team Cause of death Year Ref(s)
William Bedford 23 Outfielder Cuban Giants lightning strike 1909 [83]
George Fleischman 24 Catcher Stapleton Baseball Club struck on the head by a pitch 1908 [84]
John Garcia 28 Catcher Cuban Giants cardiac arrest during game 1904 [85]
Josh Gibsondagger 35 Catcher Homestead Grays brain tumor and stroke 1947
Clifford Larkins 21 Catcher Zulu Cannibal Giants struck on the throat by a pitch 1937 [86]
Porter Moss 34 Pitcher Memphis Red Sox homicide, gunshot 1944
Ben Myers 19–20 Catcher Southern Star Baseball Club broken neck, struck by a passed ball 1890 [87]
Pythias Russ 26 Catcher Chicago American Giants tuberculosis 1930
Clyde Nelson 32 Infielder Indianapolis Clowns cardiac arrest during game 1949 [88]
Chino Smith 28 Outfielder Lincoln Giants yellow fever 1932
Frank Warfield 35 Second baseman / manager Washington Pilots heart attack 1932
George Washington 34 Pitcher Philadelphia Giants cardiac arrest 1908 [88]
Charlie Williams 27 Shortstop Chicago American Giants ptomaine poisoning 1931

Dutch League Baseball[edit]

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

College baseball[edit]

Player Age Position Team Cause of death Year Ref(s)
Curtis Brenneman 17 Second baseman Gettysburg struck on head by a pitch 1926 [89]
Derek Becker 21 Middle infielder Keiser homicide, gunshot 2020 [90]
Chris Lane 22 Catcher East Central homicide, gunshot 2013 [91]
Robert Brown 19 unknown Howard County JC electrocuted while erecting a foul pole that fell on a powerline 1953 [92]
Randy Collins 22 Pitcher / Outfielder Vanderbilt automobile accident 1973 [93]
Donny Everett 19 Pitcher Vanderbilt drowned 2016
Joseph Geddings 20 Catcher Appalachian State struck on head by a pitch 1964 [94]
Ira Goodlet 18 unknown Arkansas Cumberland struck on head by a pitch 1908 [95]
James Mair Second baseman Monmouth cerebral hemorrhage, collided with a teammate 1896 [96]
Hervey Mangham 19 Right fielder Louisiana State struck on head by a pitch 1908 [97]
Cassel Mowrey 21 First baseman West Virginia struck on the head by a pitch 1923 [98]
Gene Reynolds 18 unknown Howard County JC electrocuted while erecting a foul pole that fell on a powerline 1953 [92]
Tim Trunk 19 Pitcher Bradley automobile accident 1989 [99]
Walter Zorn 19 unknown St. John's (Kansas) struck on head by a pitch 1950 [100]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  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. ^ Blair had signed a contract to spend the 1890 season with the Chicago Cubs, but he died as a result of illness before games began. He had last appeared in the majors with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1888. "Death Of A Ball Player Archived September 13, 2006, at the Wayback Machine", The New York Times, published February 23, 1890, accessed August 21, 2006.
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  11. ^ Gedeon played for the Sentors briefly in September 1939, and was again called up to the major league roster in September 1940, but did not get into a game. He was drafted in January 1941, while still technically a major league player, and was killed in action in 1944. Harry O'Neill, a catcher who played in one ML game in 1939, is the only other major league player to have died as a soldier during WWII. O'Neill's brief baseball career ended in the minors in 1940, and he pursued other activities for two years before enlisting in September 1942.
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Sources[edit]

  • 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 reading[edit]

  • 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