Friday, March 4, 2016

Oscar Westerberg (1882-1909); Baseball player who died of TB

Oscar Westerberg and his burial site in Plot 39
PLOT 39, Lot 1446
(Gravestone and marker missing)

Oscar William Westerberg was born on July 8, 1882 in Alameda, California was a switch-hitting professional baseball player who played shortstop.

He broke into baseball in 1904 with Stockton in the California State League. In 1906, he played for the Alameda Grays in the California League and the Tacoma Tigers in the Northwestern League. He played 12 games for Tacoma, hitting .273 with three doubles. The following season, he played one game with the Portland Beavers in the Pacific Coast League before making his major league debut for the Boston Doves at South End Grounds III.  He only played two games for the Doves, but he collected two hits and six at-bats for a .333 batting average with on RBI.

The Boston Doves were originally known as the Beaneaters and were redubbed in 1907 when the team was purchased by the Dovey Brothers. The team went on to become the Boston Braves, Milwaukee Braves and eventually the current day Atlanta Braves. (Hall of Fame baseball player Ernie Lombardi, who played for the Boston Braves is also buried at Mountain View Cemetery. Read about him HERE.)

Westerberg's final season was in 1908, when he appeared in 15 games for the New Haven Blues in the Connecticut State League and 16 games for the Trenton Tigers in the Tri-State League.

Prior to playing professional baseball, he attended Saint Mary's College of California. 

The Oakland Tribune reported that he died on April 17, 1909 at his home in Alameda of "consumption," which is now known as tuberculosis. The disease was called “consumption” because the illness seemed to consume the individual, with their weight drastically dropping as the disease progressed.

Sources: Oakland Tribune, Mountain View Cemetery archives, Baseball Almanac, Wikipedia

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