Sports Stars Who Died in 1953

  • Jan 24 Ben Taylor, American Baseball Hall of Fame 1st baseman (Indianapolis ABCs) and manager (Washington Potomacs, Baltimore Black Sox), dies of pneumonia at 64
  • Feb 9 Charlie Spencer, English soccer defender and manager (2 caps; Newcastle United; mgr Grimsby Town 1937-51), dies at 53
  • Mar 2 Jim Lightbody, American athlete (Olympic gold 800m, 1500m, 2590m Steeplechase 1904), dies at 70

Jim Thorpe

Mar 28 Jim Thorpe, American all-round athlete (Olympic gold decathlon, pentathlon 1912; College & Pro Football Hall of Fame), dies of heart failure at 65

  • Apr 6 Whirlaway, American thoroughbred racehorse (Triple Crown 1941), dies at 15
  • Apr 11 Kid Nichols, American Baseball HOF pitcher (3 × NL wins leader; All-Time Saves Leader 1899–1906; Boston Beaneaters, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies) and manager (St. Louis Cardinals 1904–05), dies at 83
  • May 7 Ormy Pearse, South African cricketer (55 runs & 3 wkts in 3 Tests for S Af), dies at 68
  • May 18 Tom Killick, English cricketer (at the crease 2 Tests for Eng 1929), dies at 69
  • May 27 Jesse Burkett, American Baseball HOF left fielder (NL batting champion 1895-96, 1901; 240 hits in 1896 MLB record for 15 years; Cleveland Spiders, St. Louis Perfectos/Cardinals), dies at 84
  • Jun 5 Bill Tilden, American tennis player (US Open 1920-25, 29; Wimbledon 1920-21, 30; French 1927, 30), dies of a heart attack at 60
  • Jun 25 Algy Gehrs, Australian cricketer (6 Tests for Australia 1904-11), dies at 72
  • Jul 11 Oliver Campbell, American tennis player (US Open 1890-92), dies at 82
  • Aug 7 Abner Powell, American baseball utility, team owner and executive (first to use infield tarpaulin after rain), dies at 92
  • Aug 11 Tazio Nuvolari, Italian auto racer (72 x major race wins; 24 Hours of Le Mans 1933; European Championship 1932), dies from a stroke at 60
  • Aug 22 Jim Tabor, American MLB 3rd baseman (2 x grand slams in one game), dies of a heart attack at 36
  • Sep 12 Frederick Kuys, cricketer (one Test South Africa v England 1898), dies
  • Sep 18 Charles de Tornaco, Belgian racing driver, dies at 26
  • Sep 22 William Brann, South African cricketer (3 Tests for South Africa), dies at 54
  • Oct 27 Thomas Wass, English cricketer (b. 1873)
  • Dec 2 Ernie Hayes MBE, English cricket all-rounder (5 Tests; Surrey, Leicestershire), dies at 77
  • Dec 2 Reginald "Snowy" Baker, Australian boxer (Olympic silver middleweight 1908), rugby union halfback (2 caps) and actor (The Sword of Valor), dies at 69
  • Dec 2 Walter "Doc" Meanwell, English Basketball Hall of Fame coach (University of Wisconsin 1911–1917, 1920–1934), dies at 69
  • Dec 15 Ed Barrow, American Baseball HOF manager (World Series 1918 Boston Red Sox) and executive (10 x World Series NY Yankees), dies at 85
  • Dec 25 Patsy Donovan, Irish-American baseball outfielder (Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals) and manager (Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Washington Sens, Brooklyn Superbas, Boston RS), dies at 88