Less than five miles west of Orioles Park at Camden Yards on Route 40 is New Cathedral Cemetery. The cemetery holds the distinction of being the final resting place of four Baseball Hall of Famers. In Chapter 20 of Deadball, Byron Bennett visits New Cathedral in search of the ghosts of the former players, all of which were once members of the 1890’s world champion National League Baltimore Orioles.
As you enter the cemetery, there is to the left a white, clapboard building that houses the cemetery’s office. Available inside is a 8″ by 14″ handout entitled “Baseball Hall of Famers” which includes a map of the cemetery. The map’s legend includes symbols identifying the final resting place of each Hall of Famer.
The final resting place of former Orioles’ third-baseman John McGraw “ is located in Lot 197, Section L.”
McGraw is entombed in a stately granite mausoleum with an oxidized, green copper roof. “J.J. McGraw” is carved into the granite above the front door along with “S. J. Van Lill, Jr.,” whose family shares the space with McGraw and his wife, Blanche. Mrs. S. J. Lill and Mrs. McGraw were sisters.
Just over the hill behind McGraw’s mausoleum is the grave site of Joe Kelley, former right fielder for the Orioles. A set of marble stairs at the base of a small hill leads to Kelly’s grave.
Kelley is buried alongside his wife and son.
Ned Hanlon, the Orioles’ former manager, is interred just a short walking distance from Kelly’s grave.
Hanlon’s wife is buried alongside Foxy Ned.
A matching block of granite honors the memory of Hanlon’s son: “Joseph Thomas Hanlon, Born March 3, 1893, Died July 31, 1918, Killed In Action, Buried At Thiaucourt, France.”
The grave site of Wilbert Robinson, former Orioles catcher, and his wife, is situated in the northeast section on the opposite side of the cemetery.
A large chunk of black granite is missing from the corner of Robinson’s headstone.
New Cathedral Cemetery is just one of the many examples of Baltimore’s rich baseball history. Given its close proximity to Camden Yards, the cemetery certainly is worth a stop for any true Orioles fan.