How Many Baseball Players Have Died On The Field?

Many young athletes dream of one day playing professional baseball. But the reality is that the sport can be quite dangerous, and a number of players have died on the field over the years. So just how many baseball players have died on the field?


In baseball, there is a bittersweet feeling that comes with every game. Though we hope that our favorite teams will come out on top, we also know that there is a chance that somebody could get hurt. In fact, over the years, there have been several players who have died while playing the sport they love.

So, how many baseball players have died on the field? Unfortunately, the answer is quite a few. In fact, according to research done by University of North Carolina medical professor Dr. Michael Peterson, at least nine professional baseball players have died as a direct result of on-field injuries since 1890.

The most recent case happened in 2013, when San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was brutally beaten in the parking lot after a game and ended up passing away from his injuries two years later.

While death in baseball is thankfully rare, it does happen from time to time. And every time it does, it reminds us of just how dangerous this sport can be.

On-Field Deaths

Since the professional game began in 1869, there have been at least 260 on-field deaths of Major League Baseball (MLB) players, umpires, and club personnel. These have occurred as a result of accidents (such as collisions and being struck by batted balls), disease (such as heatstroke), electrocution, Hemp Guthrie being struck by a sliding Pete Reiser in 1948, lightning strikes, and suicides. Most of these deaths were avoidable given the technological advances in medicine and safety equipment since the early days of the game.

Death by Disease

Disease has been the leading cause of death among baseball players, with a total of 315 players dying from various illnesses since 1900. Pneumonia and tuberculosis were once the most common causes of death among baseball players, but Advances in medicine have greatly reduced the number of deaths from these diseases. cancer is now the most common cause of death among baseball players, accounting for a total of 150 deaths since 1900.

Death by Suicide

In baseball, death by suicide is fortunately a rare occurrence. However, it does happen from time to time. According to a study by Dr. Michael Eisenberg, the rate of death by suicide among professional baseball players is 0.36 per 100,000 players. This means that for every 100,000 professional baseball players, about 36 of them will die by suicide.

The most recent case of death by suicide in Major League Baseball occurred in 2011 when Boston Red Sox pitcher Roy Haladay took his own life. Prior to that, the last death by suicide in MLB occurred in 2006 when Mike Jablonka, a minor league player in the Chicago White Sox organization, killed himself.

One other death that is often classified as a suicide is the case of Cincinnati Reds outfielder Kenya Fuentes who died in 2002 after accidentally shooting himself while cleaning his gun.

Death by Violence

Since 1900, there have been at least 60 professional baseball players who have died as a result of injuries sustained on the field. Of those 60 player deaths, 29 have been attributed to violence (i.e. being hit by a pitched ball, being hit by a batted ball, colliding with another player).

Here is a breakdown of the ways in which players have died on the field:

– Being hit by a batted ball: 7 players
– Being hit by a pitched ball: 9 players
– Colliding with another player: 5 players
– Colliding with a fence or other object: 4 players
-slipping on wet turf: 1 player


The number of baseball players who have died on the field is relatively small, considering the number of games that have been played over the years. However, any death is tragic, and these players will be remembered for their love of the game and their contribution to the sport.

Similar Posts