1903 - Ed Delahanty passes away at the age of 35 when he falls from a bridge in Bridgeburg, Ontario. The circumstances surrounding his death are still somewhat mysterious to this day.
Delahanty had boarded a train in Detroit that was bound for New York’s Grand Central Station, according to a letter that was sent to his wife. While on the train, Delahanty behaved in a bizarre fashion, aggravating other passengers. Having heard enough complaints from the passengers, the conductor stopped the train at Bridgeburg on the Canadian side of the Niagara River, across from Buffalo. At approximately 10:45 PM, the conductor told Delahanty to remove himself immediately from the train.
At 10:55 PM, a railroad night guard named Sam Kingston spotted a man walking along a span of the bridge that contained no footwalk or railing. In a statement not filed until the following day, Kingston stated that when he shone his lamp in the man’s face, the man menacingly told him, “Keep that light away or I’ll knock your lights out!” When further interrogated by police, Kingston added that the stranger smelled of liquor. At this point, according to Kingston, he grabbed the man by the collar, but stumbled while doing so. Kingston said his foot fell between the railroad ties, and before he could pull himself up, the man had disappeared and then he heard a splash.
Kingston later changed his story and insisted that no confrontation ever occurred. The guard said that the man simply ignored him and kept walking, eventually right off the bridge. Two days later, Delahanty’s body was found when it washed upon the shore.
Many people believed, the most prominent being Big Ed’s younger brother, Frank, that Delahanty had intended to jump to the New York Giants, reigniting the AL-NL war. It is well known that Giants owner John T. Brush and manager John McGraw were not happy about the peace agreement that was brokered between the two leagues. Before the peace agreement, Delahanty had signed with New York for the 1903 season, but was awarded back to Washington after the peace agreement was finalized.
However, some believe that Big Ed may have committed suicide. They cite that his gambling debt from horse racing was tremendous. Also pointed out is that Delahanty had supposedly told some his Washington teammates a few weeks prior that he had taken out an insurance policy on his life and that, when his mood darkened, he spoke of death. Finally, there is the fact that Delahanty had left his personal belongings in Detroit before catching the train on that fateful night.
Regardless, what is known is that Delahanty’s life ended much too soon.
1904 – Highly touted rookie Walter Clarkson of Harvard makes his big league debut for the Highlanders. The Nationals spoil the Ivy Leaguer’s debut with a 3-2 win in New York.
1906 - Boston and Washington clash in a doubleheader in D.C. for supremacy of the AL basement. Cy Young and Boston cop a 4-3 decision in the opener. The Nats bounce back to rout the Red Sox, 17-3, in the game two. The Sox throw up the white flag after 7 innings of the second tilt in order to catch their train.
1918 - Boston CF Babe Ruth goes 0-for-2, collects an error and quits the Red Sox after an argument with Red Sox manager Ed Barrow. On the other side, Senator P Harry Harper wins his 7th straight, a 3-0 shutout in Washington.
1943 - 30 year old Chicago rookie Guy Curtright has his AL rookie record 26 game hitting streak snapped in a 3-2 Sens win in Chicago. Curtright’s record will stand until Boston’s Nomar Gaciaparra breaks it in 1997.
1948 - The Senators clip the hometown Yankees in 12, 2-1. Washington pitcher Walt Masterton pitches all 12 frames, allowing 3 hits, in the victory.
1966 - The Fall of the Yankee Empire continues. With 2 outs in the bottom of the 6th, Frank Howard, Don Lock and Ken McMullen belt 3 consecutive home runs off the winless Whitey Ford. The Nats beat up on the Yankees and the “Chairman of the Board”, Ford, 10-4.
Peter Willits Burnside B Jul. 2, 1930 Still Living
Pete Burnside began his career as a 25 year old rookie pitcher with the New York Giants. He’d go 1-0 in 1955 but wouldn’t return to the majors until 1957. 1958 found him heading west to San Francisco with the Giants franchise. Sold to the Detroit Tigers, he’d played for the Tigers in 1959 & 1960.
Burnside was selected by the expansion Senators, spending 1961 & 1962 in Washington, where he’d post records of 4-9 and 5-11 for some pretty hapless expansion teams.
Traded by the Senators, along with Bob Johnson, to the Baltimore Orioles for Barry Shetrone, Marv Breeding and Art Quirk, he’d appear in 6 games for the 1963 Orioles before being released in early May. Less than 3 weeks later, he was resigned by the Senators, and would finish the 1963 season, and his career in Washington.
Charles Klein Stobbs B Jul. 2, 1929 D Jul. 11, 2008
Pitcher Chuck Stobbs spent 15 years in the major leagues beginning with the Boston Red Sox in 1947. In 1952 he spent one season with the Chicago White Sox and then was traded to the Senators for Mike Fornieles. Stobbs would spend 1953 through the mid-1958 season in Washington. In 1956 he was 15-15 with a 3.60 ERA.
Claimed off waivers by the St. Louis Cardinals in July of 1958, he’d appear in 17 games for the Cards and then be released in the off season.
Stobbs would be signed by the Senators for the second time and spend 1959 and 1960 in Washington and head to Minnesota with the franchise when they became the Twins in 1961, where his career would end after the season.
Stobbs ended with a career record of 107-130 which reflected on the Senators teams he played on from 1953-1960. He had some respectable years in Boston at the beginning of his career. However, Stobbs suffered the fate of throwing the famed home run to Mickey Mantle in 1953 that was supposedly measured to have travelled 565 feet in Griffith Stadium.
Peter John Susko B Jul. 2, 1904 D May 22, 1978
“One Season Wonder” Pete Susko showed up on the Senators roster in 1934 as a 30 year old rookie. Playing in 58 games at first base, Susko batted .286 with 64 hits, including 2 homers. His last game would be on September 30th of that season.