Saturday, March 26, 2005

Win or Lose (washingtonpost.com)


"Yet another franchise came along in 1901, now in the American League. This time, Washington did something we had never done before: signed a bona fide star still near the peak of his powers. Ed Delahanty was a strapping, square-jawed slugger, the best hitter of his day. An esteemed authority on baseball history, Bill James, has compared Delahanty to the seemingly incomparable Joe DiMaggio. The man batted .346 over 16 seasons. He once went 9 for 9 in a double-header.

But after just one full season in Washington, Big Ed started drinking even more heavily than usual. Suspended from the team during a trip to Detroit, he boarded a train for home. Blotto, he brandished a straight razor at other passengers. The conductor stopped the train near the Canadian border and dumped Delahanty trackside. Our star went reeling into the night, plunged from the International Bridge into the Niagara River, washed over Niagara Falls, and was pureed by the propeller of a sightseeing boat."

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