Lot #9009
Ed Delahanty's 1887 Engraved Pocket Watch

Rose-gold pocket watch presented to Ed Delahanty after his first season in professional baseball

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Estimate: $3000+
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Rose-gold pocket watch presented to Ed Delahanty after his first season in professional baseball

Remarkable Elgin pocket watch presented to Ed Delahanty by the Mansfield Rooters (the fans of the Mansfield Base Ball Club of the Ohio State League) in 1887, evidently as a token of appreciation after his successful 'rookie' campaign. In 1887, the 19-year-old Delahanty signed on to play his first professional baseball for Mansfield for $50 a month, and the young star played in 83 games, batting .355 and scoring 90 runs. Recognizing that he was bound for greatness, the Mansfield Rooters must have chipped in to present him this handsome watch as a parting gift. Delahanty would join the Major League ranks the following year, playing second base and outfield for the Philadelphia Phillies.

The watch features a rose gold-filled case, beautifully engraved inside, "Presented to Edward J. Delahanty by the Mansfield Rooters, 1887." The case also bears the maker's mark, "Fahys Montauk No. 1," and has the serial number "280968." The white 45mm open face is marked "Elgin Nat'l Watch Co." and features black Roman numeral hour markers and a second-hand subdial. When wound the watch ticks and the hands move, but accuracy is untested. In fine cosmetic condition, with light wear. Includes a small golden watch chain.

Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945, Delahanty was revered as one of the game's great early hitters: he hit over .400 in three seasons (topping out at .410 in 1899) and twice led the league in home runs (registering a career-high of 19 in 1893). His exciting, flamboyant style of play captivated the fans of his hometown teams, and his skill at the plate went unmatched by friend or foe. Delahanty's brilliant career is often overlooked in favor of his bizarre death: in July 1903, one year after being crowned the American League batting champ and amidst another successful season, he was kicked off a train for brandishing a straight razor after drinking five whiskies, then swept over Niagara Falls. His body was found at the bottom of Niagara Falls two weeks later.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Sports
  • Dates: #605 - Ended March 25, 2021