Howard: Stew Thornley’s macabre adventure, visiting Hall of Fame graves

From Johnette Howard at on May 26, 2016, featuring SABR member Stew Thornley:

Stew Thornley laughs and acknowledges he doesn’t have the most ordinary of hobbies. But he also has little self-consciousness about how he became credited nearly a decade ago with running the “most morbid” website in sports.

Thornley is an official scorer for the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Timberwolves, a public affairs worker for the state of Minnesota, a prolific author, reformed skydiver (he had a close call — don’t ask) and lover of numbers, history and collections of things — sometimes the more arcane the collection, the better.

For the past 21 years, the 60-year-old Minnesota native has been on a quest, which now stands at 213 visits made, to see the graves of every Baseball Hall of Famer. He has compiled a macabre list of every deceased Cooperstown inductee, complete with photo links, addresses and, in many cases, GPS coordinates of where the burial sites can be found.

In the shorthand parlance of men and women who collect graveyard experiences, Thornley is what’s known as a “graver.” While his search for the plots of long gone standouts, such as Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown in Terre Haute, Indiana, or Rube Waddell in San Antonio, is nominally about allowing him to cross another name off his list, it’s about more than that.

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Originally published: May 26, 2016. Last Updated: May 26, 2016.