Description1903-05 Death of Ed Delahanty Document Archive Including Court Transcript & Legal Correspondence. Most fascinating here is the official court transcript of the Delahanty family's suit against the railway company, which it considered culpable for Ed's death by putting him off the train in a state of advanced inebriation. Nearly one hundred pages of court transcript includes testimony from those on the train and the last man to see Delahanty alive, a railway worker on the ground who scuffled briefly with the troubled Hall of Famer before he continued to walk across the bridge. It remains, without question, the most detailed and comprehensive accounting of Delahanty's last moments of life that exists.
Various correspondence is here as well, mainly letters from the legal team to Delahanty's widow, terminating with a June 30, 1905 notification that the case had been dismissed. Also here is a letter from The Pullman Company dating to just two and a half weeks after Delahanty's accident regarding the disposition of the baggage left on the train when Ed was ejected. Another letter discusses the state of Delahanty's body when found, noting his significant injuries and suggesting that his corpse had been robbed of valuables by those who first located the body.
Far too voluminous an archive to fully investigate in the cataloging process, this is certainly a lot that will offer many more revelations to its winning bidder. A portion of the pages exhibit wear and toning typical of century-old paper, but every last word of text should be readily legible.
The Ed Delahanty Collection
The following five lots derive from the family of Hall of Fame outfielder "Big Ed" Delahanty, one of the most feared sluggers of the turn-of-the-century game. Three times Delahanty finished a Major League season north of the fabled .400 mark, and his .346 career average places him fifth on the all-time leaderboard. He remains the only man in history to hit four inside-the-park home runs in a single contest. But despite the remarkable talent that earned him a 1945 posthumous induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Ed Delahanty's legacy remains the shocking manner of his sudden passing. Ejected from a railroad train just north of the Canada/US border on July 2, 1903 for drunk and disorderly conduct, Delahanty attempted to cross a railroad bridge over the Niagara River on foot only to fall to his death, swept over the famous Falls. The remarkable archive offered within this Signature auction is comprised largely of documents relating to the court case following the tragedy, as well as a selection of mementos from happier times when he was hailed as one of the greatest figures in baseball.
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