In 1902 -1903 baseball had a feud between the American and National League. The players benefited with higher salaries. Ed Delahanty negotiated a great salary and received $4,000 bonus with the New York Giants. That was a lot of money in those days. He was 35 but still hit .376 in 1902. He led the league in on base average, batting average and slugging in 1902 so you can see why he was wanted. Unfortunately for Ed, the American and National League came to an agreement and one of the items of the agreement was that the players had to return to their previous team. So, Delahanty had to go back to the Washington Senators.
This did not make Delahanty happy. He started to drink heavily. He probably always drank heavily, but now he drank heavy enough to affect his behavior. One day he decided to go to New York, probably to try to join the Giants. This was shortly after buying a life insurance policy with his daughter as the beneficiary. He was drunk as the train left Detroit and went through Canada. He caused a lot of commotion and was kicked off the train near Niagara Falls at night. When Delahanty was walking across the long international bridge to get to the other side, he was looking down at the water, maybe contemplating jumping. A night watchman, who was pretty old, accosted him but Delahanty fought him off, ran off and either jumped or fell into the water. His body was found 20 miles downriver.
Some think it was murder. However, if you were going to conspire to murder someone, why would you plan to kick them off a train near the border and have people waiting to murder him. You would have to depend on Delahanty getting drunk and obnoxious enough to get kicked off the train in front of witnesses. What if he just fell asleep. It would eliminate the group waiting in the Niagara Falls area. Delahanty had a history of suicide attempts. He was mad enough, frustrated enough and drunk enough to either fall or jump. Maybe this old watchman saw a chance or opportunity to get him. There is an outside chance Delahanty attacked the watchman, people came to helped him. Delahanty was somehow killed and personal items were stolen, as Delahanty’s brother was worried about the rings missing on his fingers. Of course, Delahanty could have sold some or got ticked and threw them away. Could some come off in the water? Maybe some, but not all depending on how many he had on him. I doubt the Giants would have wanted him killed. He was just another lost opportunity to them.
Speaking of brothers, Ed had four who played League Baseball. Let us see how each of his brothers did. Of course, Ed is a hall of famer, in my Hall of Fame and has 69.6 WAR.
Frank Delahanty – Frank has a negative WAR so I’m going to use Win Shares for the guys. Ed has 355 Win Shares. Frank had 19 career win shares. Frank didn’t play until after Ed died. He had a lifetime batting average of 226 and was a left fielder so I’m surprised he played six seasons. However, the last two were in the Federal League six years after his last American League appearance. Ironically his first year in the Federal League was in Buffalo close to where his brother Ed died.
Jim Delahanty – Jim had 149 Win Shares. He just had brief appearances for the Giants while Ed was alive. He did have a good career after Ed died. He also played both years in the Federal League. Jim played a lot of positions, but mostly second. I have Delahanty rated as my 99th greatest second baseman.
Joe Delahanty – Joe hit well in the minor leagues but didn’t hit in the major leagues until he was 31. He had started his first full year, and Ok his first year, but would of probably been better off being a utility player. They tried that his second year as he played 100 games in a lot of different positions but didn’t field well in some of them. He went back to play in the minors. He had 21 Win Shares.
Tom Delahanty – Like Joe he also played 3 seasons, but only played 19 games in his career. He did play 13 years in the minors. He had one win share. So, the Delahanty Brothers have the advantage of having more brothers but let us try them against the DiMaggio Brothers and the Alou Brothers.
Here are the results:
Even with giving the brothers more points for each win share it doesn’t help the Delahanty brothers. First are the DiMaggios’, second Alous’ with the Delahantys’ in third.