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The Mysterious Death Of The MLB Player Who Plunged Over Niagara Falls After Abandoning His Team

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mlb logo

The early days of Major League Baseball produced plenty of forgotten stories, including the strange case of Ed Delahanty, an outfielder who was playing for the Washington Senators when he died after plunging over Niagara Falls.

Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume the vast majority of people reading this have never even heard of Delahanty, an Ohio native who made his MLB debut with the Philadelphia Phillies toward the end of the 1880s.

He was initially brought on board to play second base, but he eventually found a more permanent home in left field while earning a reputation as a fearsome batter known for his power at the plate.

Delahanty spent 13 seasons with the Phillies before deciding to take his talents to the Washington Senators after they offered him a solid pay bump as he was entering what he knew was the twilight of his career.

While he was aware his baseball-playing days were numbered at that point, they—and his life—came to a shocking end thanks to what transpired midway through his second season with the team.

 MLB player Ed Delahanty abandoned his team shortly before his mysterious death at Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls

Delahanty had grappled with alcohol and gambling issues over the course of his career, and while he was initially lured to the Senators by the contract they offered him to leave Philly, the team’s performance didn’t come close to living up to the standards he was used to.

On July 2nd, 1903, Washington fell to 16-43 on the season after losing to the Tigers in Detroit, and the 35-year-old outfielder officially reached a breaking point. He parted ways with the Senators and decided to head back to his home in New York City, but he never made it there.

Delahanty reportedly threw back five shots of whiskey on the train before causing a scene by breaking open a glass compartment containing a fire axe and eventually swapping that sharp object for the razor he used to chase fellow passengers through the cabins.

The conductor understandably decided to intervene and threw the belligerent passenger off the train in the vicinity of Fort Erie, a Canadian border town located right across the Niagara River from Buffalo.

What exactly transpired next remains a mystery to this day. According to contemporary reports, Delahanty was eventually able to make his way toward the International Railway Bridge, a span located around 20 miles south of Niagara Falls. It was there that he encountered Sam Kingston, who served as the night guard at the crossing.

Kingston eventually told the police he saw Delahanty jump off of the bridge, although his initial version of the story asserted they’d engaged in a physical confrontation that led to the player falling into the water below it. Delahanty’s brothers (all of whom played in the MLB) were convinced he was the victim of a robbery that took a deadly twist, but no solid evidence emerged to support that theory.

What is known is that Delahanty’s bloated and unrecognizable corpse was found floating in the waters near the Maid of the Mist boat landing the following morning. His death was officially ruled an accident, and his wife successfully sued the railroad that kicked him off the train in the first place and received $5,000 in damages.

The post The Mysterious Death Of The MLB Player Who Plunged Over Niagara Falls After Abandoning His Team appeared first on BroBible.


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