The Mysterious Death of Ed Delahanty

From SABR member Brian McKenna at Glimpses Into Baseball History on March 29:

“Where is Delehanty” the Washington Post cried on July 5, 1903. D.C. fans had at last heard about the disappearance of their slugger.

A couple factors were weighing on the mind of the troubled outfielder in 1903. In the fall of 1902 D[elahanty] had signed two contracts – one with Washington and a three-year deal with the Giants for $18,000. The New York Giants advanced D[elahanty] $4,000. Problems arose when peace was declared between the two leagues and the National Commission assigned D[elahanty] to the Nationals. 

There was an extensive debate among ML magnates as to whether D[elahanty] should be blacklisted for his dual contract situation. In the end Ban Johnson and Charles Comiskey won out, saving D[elahanty] from a de facto suspension. 

Friends and family also reported that D[elahanty] was having problems with his wife, stemming from the ballplayer’s jealousy. It was also reported that D[elahanty] had tried to gas himself but was saved when someone interrupted him. It was also noted that he had occasionally spoken in a round about manner of committing suicide.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: March 29, 2011. Last Updated: March 29, 2011.