I may come up against some resistance to this concept, but I submit that Oakland Athletics All Star Closer Sean Doolittle and the late Hall of Fame outfielder and first baseman Ed Delahanty are one in the same person.
Delahanty/Doolittle is a time traveler and the story makes sense when you take a few steps back.
Delahanty was a great hitter for Philadelphia and put up Cooperstown worthy numbers during 11 full seasons with the Phillies. He was one of the big home run hitters and a consistent run producer in the final years of the 19th century, three times leading the league in RBI. Eventually he left the National League for the new American League where he continued to hit for the Washington Senators.
But he squandered his money, got caught in a strange contract dispute, drank too much and ultimately became erratic, once chasing a teammate away with a knife.
On a train ride in Northern New York, Delahanty was drunk and let off at Niagra Falls. He fell into the Falls to his death. That was 1903. He was still an active player.
Cut to 2004. A high school hitter from New Jersey, who just happened to look like Delahanty, is drafted by the Braves. Later he attends the University of Virginia and becomes a first round draft pick by the Oakland A’s.
He went by the name “Sean Doolittle.” I am not fooled by that name.
He worked his way up the A’s system as a hitter but injuries prevented him from reaching the majors. So in a “Reverse Roy Hobbs” he abandoned his bat and became a pitcher. He reached the majors and the day he arrived in Oakland, the sagging fortune of the A’s turned around.
They won the Division in 2012 and 2013 and made the playoffs last year. “Doolittle” went from set up man to All Star closer. And as his profile grew, so did a 19th Century-esque beard he used to conceal his face.
Along the way he became a solid teammate, a charitable player setting up housing for veterans and declared one of The Good Guys in baseball.
“Doolittle” emerged as a stand up guy to the media, whether it was after thrilling wins or the heart breaking Wild Card game against the Royals in 2014. He was rewarded with not only the love of the fans but also a multi million dollar contract extension.
And now it makes perfect sense.
Delahanty had all the talent and ability in the world but squandered the good will and money of his playing days. That night in Niagra Falls, Delahanty clearly made a deal. A player at the end of his career and with nothing but debt and bad fortune facing him, he pulled a George Bailey and made a key wish.
He would get another chance to be a star player and do it right this time. He would not fritter away the chance but play hard, play right and treat people and teammates around him better.
And the clearest and most logical explanation is that there was a worm hole in Niagra Falls. Or perhaps a tear in the very fabric of space and time that if jumped through would take him to another year and another chance.
Assuming the alias “Sean Doolittle”, Delahanty has returned to the majors and this time did it right. Instead of being a talented but tragic figure who had the strangest death of any Hall of Famer in history, he became a talented and classy All Star who was nearly voted the Face of MLB.
Granted there are some potential holes in this theory. Delahanty was right handed and Doolittle is left handed. Also there are photos that (supposedly) show a young Doolittle.
Also Delahanty’s body was found. And there is no evidence to confirm the existence of time holes nor tears in the fabric of the universe.
But I contend that is nit picking.
Using the principle of Occam’s Razor, the clearest and most logical conclusion is that “Doolittle” is a time travelling Delahanty.
Either that or they are just two ballplayers that look kind of the same. I prefer to think it is the time traveling answer.
I believe science will prove I am correct.