Pitching Probables
Power Alley
All-Star Voting
All-Time Stats
Message Board
Minor Leagues
MLB en espanol

Jim Caple
Peter Gammons
Joe Morgan
Rob Neyer
John Sickels
Jayson Stark
ESPN Auctions
Saturday, June 22
Updated: June 24, 7:16 PM ET
Major leaguers who died in-season

By Jeff Merron

There are some prominent major leaguers who died during the regular season or in spring training. This list does not include players who died in the offseason, such as Roberto Clemente, or the many players who died around the turn of the century from diseases such as tuberculosis or typhoid or other illnesses.

Darryl Kile (June 22, 2002)
The Cardinals pitcher died of apparent natural causes while in his sleep. He was 5-4 during the season and won 133 games in his major-league career.

Mike Darr (February 15, 2002)
Darr, 25, was killed in an auto accident in Phoenix just before the start of spring training. A backup outfielder for the Padres, Darr had hit .277 in 105 games with San Diego in 2001, his third year in the majors.

Steve Olin and Tim Crews (March 22, 1993)
The Indians pitchers -- Olin, 27, and Crews, 31 -- were killed when their fishing boat slammed into a pier during spring training in Florida. Bob Ojeda, also on the boat, was badly injured. Olin, a reliever, had been 8-5 in 1992 with 29 saves and a 2.34 ERA. Crews was about to begin his first season for Cleveland. In his six seasons as a relief pitcher for the Dodgers, Crews struck out 293 in 281 innings and compiled a lifetime 3.44 ERA.

Donnie Moore (July 18, 1989)
In the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS, with the Angels one strike away from a trip to the World Series, Moore, a relief pitcher, gave up a game-tying two-run homer to Dave Henderson of the Red Sox, and then the game-winning sacrifice fly in the 11th. The Sox went on to win the seven-game series, and Moore never lived it down. He had come to the Angels in 1985, saved 31 games, and was named Angels MVP for the season. But he was plagued by injuries in 1986 and beyond. After his contract expired in 1988, he caught on with the Royals, but was released by their Omaha farm club on June 12, 1989. In 13 major league seasons, he was 43-40 with 89 saves and a 3.67 ERA. He committed suicide at his home in California after shooting, and critically wounding, his wife, Tonya. Moore was 35. "I think insanity set in," said Moore's agent. "He could not live with himself after Henderson hit the home run."

Thurman Munson (August 2, 1979)
Munson, the Yankees star catcher and captain, died when the plane he was piloting crashed near Canton, Ohio. Munson had made the All-Star team seven times and was AL MVP in 1976. He was 32.

Lyman Bostock (Sept. 23, 1978)
Bostock, an Angels outfielder, was in the back seat of his uncle's car in Gary, Indiana, when he was killed by a bullet intended for the murderer's wife. Bostock, 27, had hit .311 in his four seasons with Minnesota and California.

Bob Moose (Oct. 9, 1976)
Just a few days after the regular season ended with his Pirates finishing in second place, Moose, 29, was on the way to his birthday party when he was killed in a car crash. Moose pitched 10 years for Pittsburgh and was 76-71 with a 3.50 ERA.

Harry Agganis (June 27, 1955)
Agganis, a 25-year-old first baseman playing his second season with the Red Sox, died of a blood clot after being hospitalized for pneumonia. As a rookie, Agganis, an All-American football player nicknamed "The Golden Greek," hit .251 with 11 homers, and was batting .313 in his sophomore campaign.

Ernie "Tiny" Bonham (Sept. 15, 1949)
Bonham, 36, a pitcher for the Pirates, died during an emergency appendectomy. Bonham was 7-4 during his 10th major-league season before being hospitalized. He had pitched seven years for the Yankees (going 21-5 for New York in 1942), and three for the Pirates. His career record was 103-72 with a 3.06 ERA.

Willard Hershberger (August 3, 1940)
Hershberger, a Reds catcher who was hitting .309 filling in for the injured Ernie Lombardi, committed suicide a few days after a pitch he called was hit for a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning. He was found in his hotel room after not showing up for a game at Braves Field in Boston. Hershberger was 30.

Len Koenecke (Sept. 17, 1935)
The day after he was cut by the Dodgers because of discipline problems, Koenecke, aboard a charter flight, tried to get to the plane's controls. A lengthy mid-air fight ensued, and the pilot hit Koenecke with a fire extinguisher and killed him. Koenecke, a 31-year-old outfielder, batted .283 during the season.

Urban Shocker (Sept. 9, 1928)
Shocker, who went 18-6 for the Yankees in 1927, pitched only two innings during the 1928 season, and succumbed, in Denver, to heart problems and pneumonia.

Ray Chapman (Aug. 18, 1920)
Chapman, a shortstop for the Indians, became the first (and still the only) major-league player ever to be killed by a beanball, after Yankee pitcher Carl Mays hit him on the head. Chapman did attempt to walk to the clubhouse after he was hit, but he collapsed, and died the next day in the hospital.

Addie Joss (April 14, 1911)
Joss went 160-97 with a 1.89 ERA in nine seasons with Cleveland, and died of meningitis at 31. He was later named to the Hall of Fame.

Mike "Doc" Powers (April 26, 1909)
Powers was catching in the first game played in Shibe Park in Philadelphia when he crashed into a wall going after a pop fly. He remained in the game, but suffered from internal injuries that took his life two weeks later, when gangrene set in after three operations. He was the first major leaguer to die from injuries sustained during a game.

Ed Delahanty (July 2, 1903)
Delahanty, the best of five brothers who played in the majors, was suspended by the Washington Nationals for violating rules. He then boarded a train bound for Niagara Falls, and, by some accounts, went on a bender and was ordered off the train for drunk and disorderly behavior, and probably fell through a drawbridge into the Falls.

Jeff Merron writes regularly for's Page 2.

 More from ESPN...
Cardinals' hurler Kile dead at 33
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher ...

Gammons: Kile a true leader
Darryl Kile was a great ...

Schoenfield: A gift and a loss
Darryl Kile left us at a ...

Ratto: La Russa faces a difficult challenge
Tony La Russa doesn't readily ...

 Dan Patrick Show
Former Yankee Bobby Murcer is still recovering 23 years after Thurman Munson's passing.

 ESPN Tools
Email story
Most sent
Print story