Offering a Memorial Day Salute To ‘Baseball Player Passings’ Facebook Page

Back in 2010, I saluted Facebook’s “Baseball Player Passings” page. Dave Lambert shared the story of the site’s unique origin.

The site thrives. Before any obituary surfaced ANYWHERE online, one of the 500-plus members posted word that Kevin Hickey had died.

Small wonder. I see that 14 administrators collaborate to keep the news flowing.

Members seek out gravesites of deceased baseball names. Obituaries are posted.

Want to be part of an all-star team? members of BPP include former baseball players, the media — names that would produce double-takes from the most jaded collectors.

Two things inspire me most about Baseball Player Passings:

1. Baseball history isn’t limited to a few superstars. Recent obituaries posted included Lil (Mrs. Stan) Musial and John Kuenster, former editor of Baseball Digest. I’ve seen obits on many “girl’s leaguers,” the pioneering women of the AAGPBL. As I look to write to other baseball history makers, it helps me to dig deeper.

2. Each new entry on the page reinforces a simple message for me:


Retired players dying in their 50s? This isn’t a hobby for procrastinators.

Check out the Facebook page. Join. Enjoy the memorials. I hope you’ll be posting about how you received a nice letter from a recently-deceased retiree…while there was still time.
Coming Wednesday: An elusive autograph and MORE from Masanori Murakami.

White Sox Kevin Hickey Dies

A happy signer!

I missed out.

I knew the story of the working-class playground star Kevin Hickey, who went from slow-pitch legend to unlikely major league pitcher.

I assumed I’d have forever to write him.

I never knew how easy it would be. The message board had Hickey signing 123 out of 128 documented TTM requests.

Well, at age 56, he’s gone. One of baseball’s most shocking losses in this early season.

Forget ages. Again, I fell into the trap of seeking the oldest former players first. Don’t get caught in the numbers game. If you want their signature, if you want to tell them how you felt about their career, do it NOW.

Coming Friday: The inside story of the blog “Once A Cub…Always a Cub.”

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