There is a morbid website called www.thedeadballera.com. It chronicles the deaths of Major League ballplayers.
There are different categories of death. Such as dying by murder, accident, suicide and illness.
These days you never hear of somebody dying of "consumption." But pre-1900, a lot of ballplayers died from consumption. I thought that meant they drank themselves to death. But consumption was actually another word for tuberculosis.
In 1886, Ed Duffy died from "Chronic Nephritis complicated by a Coma."
Also in 1886, Dave Lenz passed away from "Phithisis Pulmonalis." I don't know what that is either but I'm guessing the pulmonalis part deals with the heart.
Typhoid Pneumonia was also a common way for people to die in the old days.
In 1891, John Cassidy died from "dropsy." It's fluid build up and swelling under the skin or in body cavities. I looked it up. Doesn't sound like fun does it?
I was surprised at how many big leaguers killed themselves and many in brutal fashion. In 1940, while still active, Willard Hershberger of the Reds, at the age of 30, killed himself during the season by slashing his throat. He was hitting .309 at the time and died with a career average of .316.
Doug Ault, who hit two home runs in the Blue Jays first game ever in 1977, shot himself in the head in 2004 at the age of 54.
A horrifying suicide was committed by John Mohardt in 1961 at the age of 63. He cut his femoral artery. Ouch. He only had two plate appearances in the majors, with the Tigers in 1922. He walked and had a hit so his lifetime average was 1.000.
I don't understand suicide but if someone is determined to end their life, then there isn't too much you can do about it. But I wonder why some people do it in such a gruesome way. If I was going to commit suicide I would try to do it in the least painful way possible. I'm too much of a wussbag to cut my femoral artery or shoot myself in the head.
Anyway, the Deadballera.com website is interesting if you are ever in a morbid mood and want to learn how many Major Leaguers met their demise.