Major League Baseball Tragedies

Since 1927, many Major League died during their playing time. This includes 20 car crashes and eight plane crashes. Since 1887, seven MLB players committed suicide. (Note: List is incomplete.)

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Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente became the first Latin American player to collect 3,000 career hits before his death in a plane crash.
Born Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker on August 18, 1934, Clemente played with the Brooklyn Dodgers’ minor league team before making his major league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1955. He led the National League in batting four times during the 1960s, and starred in the 1971 World Series. He died in a plane crash to deliver goods to Nicaragua in 1972.Image result for roberto clemente photos 

Baseball player Roberto Clemente was born on August 18, 1934, in Carolina, Puerto Rico. The son of a sugarcane worker, Roberto began his professional baseball career just after finishing high school. He signed a deal with the Brooklyn Dodgers and played with their minor league team, the Montreal Royals, for a season. The next year he went to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates and made his major league debut in 1955.

Clemente hit an impressive .311 in 1956, but he struggled with injuries and the language barrier early in his career. He hit his stride in 1960, batting .314 with 16 home runs and 94 RBIs to earn his first All-Star berth and help the Pirates win the World Series. The following year, he led the National League with a .351 average, slugged 23 homers and won his first of 12 consecutive Gold Glove Awards for fielding excellence.

As the decade progressed, Clemente established himself as one of the top all-around players in baseball. He won three more batting titles, and twice led the league in hits. Furthermore, he boasted one of the most fearsome arms ever witnessed in the sport, consistently unleashing powerful throws from his post in right field. He enjoyed perhaps his finest season in 1966, batting .317 with a career-best 29 homers and 119 RBIs to win the NL Most Valuable Player Award.

Clemente put on a show in the 1971 World Series, batting .414 with two home runs to help Pittsburgh defeat the favored Baltimore Orioles. Late in the 1972 season, he became the first Hispanic player to reach 3,000 career hits.

Reputation and Death

Off the field, Clemente was described as a quiet gentleman. He was proud of his Puerto Rican heritage and stood up for minority rights. Clemente married Vera Zabala in 1963, and they had three sons. Renowned for his humanitarian work, he died in a plane crash on December 31, 1972, en route to bringing much needed supplies to survivors of an earthquake in Nicaragua. The next year he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He became the first Latino inducted into the Hall.

 

Boston Red Sox outfielder Jimmy Piersall,  fell victim to mental illness.

Jimmy Piersall 1953.jpg

On May 24, 1952, just before a game against the New York Yankees, Piersall engaged in a fistfight with Yankee infielder Billy Martin

Personal problems

On May 24, 1952, just before a game against the New York Yankees, Piersall engaged in a fistfight with Yankee infielder Billy Martin.[1] Following the brawl, Piersall briefly scuffled with teammate Mickey McDermott in the Red Sox clubhouse. After several such incidents, including Piersall spanking the four-year-old son of teammate Vern Stephens in the Red Sox clubhouse during a game, he was demoted to the minor league Birmingham Barons on June 28.

In less than three weeks with the Barons, Piersall was ejected on four occasions, the last coming after striking out in the second inning on July 16. Prior to his at-bat, he had acknowledged teammate Milt Bolling‘s home run by spraying a water pistol on home plate.

Receiving a three-day suspension, Piersall entered treatment three days later at the Westborough State Hospital in Massachusetts. Diagnosed with “nervous exhaustion”, he spent the next seven weeks in the facility and missed the remainder of the season.[2]

Piersall returned to the Red Sox in the 1953 season, finishing ninth in voting for the MVP Award, and remained a fixture in the starting lineup through 1958.

He once stepped up to bat wearing a Beatles wig and playing “air guitar” on his bat, led cheers for himself in the outfield during breaks in play, and “talked” to Babe Ruth behind the center field monuments at Yankee Stadium. In his autobiography, Piersall commented, “Probably the best thing that ever happened to me was going nuts. Who ever heard of Jimmy Piersall until that happened?

.[1] Following the brawl, Piersall briefly scuffled with teammate Mickey McDermott in the Red Sox clubhouse. After several such incidents, including Piersall spanking the four-year-old son of teammate Vern Stephens in the Red Sox clubhouse during a game, he was demoted to the minor league Birmingham Barons on June 28.

In less than three weeks with the Barons, Piersall was ejected on four occasions, the last coming after striking out in the second inning on July 16. Prior to his at-bat, he had acknowledged teammate Milt Bolling‘s home run by spraying a water pistol on home plate.

Receiving a three-day suspension, Piersall entered treatment three days later at the Westborough State Hospital in Massachusetts. Diagnosed with “nervous exhaustion”, he spent the next seven weeks in the facility and missed the remainder of the season.[2]

Piersall returned to the Red Sox in the 1953 season, finishing ninth in voting for the MVP Award, and remained a fixture in the starting lineup through 1958.

He once stepped up to bat wearing a Beatles wig and playing “air guitar” on his bat, led cheers for himself in the outfield during breaks in play, and “talked” to Babe Ruth behind the center field monuments at Yankee Stadium. In his autobiography, Piersall commented, “Probably the best thing that ever happened to me was going nuts. Who ever heard of Jimmy Piersall until that happened?

 

Ryan Freel – suicide after ten concussions

Nick Adenhart

A Los Angeles Angel, Adenhart died in an auto accident in 2009. The most recent MLBer since I blogged this article.

Mickey Mantle

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/mantlmi01.shtml

Although he received a liver transplant in June 1995, the cancer had spread to other organs, and Mantle died on August 13. He was 64.

Renown Yankee outfielder Mickey Mantle. The longstanding rivalry between the Bronx Bombers and my beloved Red Sox. but he drank heavily throughout his adult life. Mantle died of liver cancer due to excessive alcohol long after retiring from the game.

(Pictured as rookie in 1951.)

Mantle’s talents led the Yankees as they ruled throughout the late 1950s. They won the American League pennant each year from 1955 to 1958, taking the World Series in 1956 and 1958. Mantle became a genuine superstar in 1956 when he won baseball’s Triple Crown, with a .353 batting average, 52 home runs, and 130 RBIs. He was also selected the American League’s MVP. In 1957 he hit .365 and was again named the league MVP.

Earlier in 1994 Mantle learned that his years of heavy drinking had left him with hepatitis (a swelling of the liver) and liver cancer. Although he received a liver transplant in June 1995, the cancer had spread to other organs, and Mantle died on less than two months later.

 

NOTE:

At the age of seven, I started watching Major League Baseball in the Fifties on TV.  As a Massachusetts resident, of course, I rooted for the Boston Red Sox.

Especially my childhood hero was Boston’s star outfielder Ted Williams. He quickly became my childhood hero. He died at the ripe old age of 83.

See earlier post:

https://storiesbehindthestories.blog/2018/08/31/ted-williams-left-me-speechless/

NOTE: Stats are estimates.

The following Major League Baseball players died during their careers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_baseball_players_who_died_during_their_careers#cite_note-tragic-2

Player Age Position Team Cause of death Year Ref(s)
Nick Adenhart 22 Pitcher Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim car crash 2009
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 drug and alcohol intoxication 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 Baseball[edit]

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]
Victor Sanchez 20 Pitcher Seattle Mariners injuries sustained from being hit by a boat while swimming 2015 [2]

Negro League Baseball[edit]

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 homicidegunshot 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

 

 

List of notable deaths Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame

 

The following Major League Baseball players died during their careers. (See below)

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 drug and alcohol intoxication 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 Baseball[edit]

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]
Victor Sanchez 20 Pitcher Seattle Mariners injuries sustained from being hit by a boat while swimming 2015 [2]

Negro League Baseball[edit]

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 homicidegunshot 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

 

 

 

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