Who is to say what really happened to the greatest slugger of the 1890s, baseball HOFer Ed Delahanty? Here’s a great answer to that question. Full of sensational content, the offered four page legal document contains the statement of Mr. George Sterr of Philadelphia, chosen by the “baseball fraternity” to represent Mrs. Norine Delahanty (Ed’s widow) in a lawsuit against the Michigan Central Railroad. Detailed description on our website.
Apparently Mr. Sterr conducted a great amount of research before providing this incredible period account of the circumstances surrounding the death of “Big Ed”. Four sheets of uniformly cream-toned legal paper are typed with the fascinating story gathered from witness accounts and official search and rescue personnel. This well-preserved document’s pages remain complete and intact and all text is clearly legible.
The header is typed as “Mrs. Norine Delahanty a citizen of Penna. Vs. Michigan Central R.R.” and “US.C.C.”. The title is “Statement of Mr. George Sterr, Jr., 2350 N. 16th St., Phila.”. There is also a handwritten note above the header that reads “See New York Annotated Cases July 1903 Vol. 13 No. 1 p. 56-78”.
Some of the more intriguing testimony is as follows: “On the second of July, 1903 Delahanty left Detroit by himself perfectly sober…. On the train, while in Canada, they sold Delahanty liquor and he became very much intoxicated, so much so that he was put off the train at a place…..He was put off without being put into the custody of anybody, and he wondered around in a drunken condition…..he attempted to cross the International Bridge…..and fell into the river…..Mr. Delahanty had on his person about $1500 in diamonds…..His body was not found until about a week or ten days afterwards, after it had gone over the Niagara Falls, and was found on the Canadian side, with no clothing on except the shirtband of his shirt…..he was terribly gashed, as though he has struck on the rocks…..The watchmen said he spoke in a maudlin condition and seeing he was in a desperate condition, he seized him and they both fell into the center of the track. The light went out, and one of the legs of the watchman went through the bridge, but he managed to save himself, he heard a sp(l)ash and he knew that the man had fallen into the water, and the man cried for help…..Delahanty’s salary had been $4000 a year, and he had just been offered $7000 a year by McGraw….. And he was going to New York to make the arrangements…..He had become very violent in the train and was pulling passengers out of their berths, and the passengers demanded that he be put off the train…..The conductor thinks he made a mistake…..Had the conductor kept him on the train three-quarters of a mile, he would have been in Buffalo, and he could have been put off where he would have been in safety…..Mrs. Delahanty has absolutely no money, and has one child, Florence…..”.
It is reported that Nadine Delahanty received an award of $2,000 and daughter Florence received $3,000. The offered document’s full contents make fantastic reading.