I’m not much of a baseball fan, but my neighbor and his wife are. Big time. Their son even played in the majors once upon a time. With baseball season just having gotten underway and so many of my friends posting about it on their Facebook pages, it got me to thinking: are there reports of ghosts at baseball games? Wonder what I can find about haunted ball fields?
So I did a Google search of “haunted baseball” which led to a number of surprising discoveries. Before this, the most popular thing I ever knew involving both ghosts and baseball was Field of Dreams.
Well low and behold there’s a book that makes a play on the famous movie moniker: Field of Screams: Haunted Tales from the Baseball Diamond, the Locker Room, and Beyond.
Baseball and ghost stories are as American as apple pie.
Enjoy both in this unique collection of otherworldly yarns.
From the authors of the popular Haunted Baseball comes this all-new collection of spooky stories from ballplayers, stadium personnel, umpires, front-office staff, and fans, exploring the sometimes amusing and often eerie connection between baseball and the paranormal. The haunting of Yankee Stadium, the ghost of Babe Ruth, and inexplicable encounters at the Hall of Fame are among the many tales herein. While spotlighting numerous major leage teams, Field of Screams also includes minor league ballparks, hotels, and baseball memorabilia, and concludes with a look at major league pranks that players indulge in to spook one another.
The description of Field of Screams led me to its predecessor: Haunted Baseball: Ghosts, Curses, Legends, and Eerie Events
A collection of “otherworldly” stories collected from baseball players, stadium personnel, umpires, front-office folks, and fans, which explores the sometimes amusing and sometimes spooky connection between baseball and the paranormal.
Did you know there were two books dedicated to baseball related ghosts and hauntings? I sure didn’t. I was surprised to even find one.
One thing both books reminded me of was one of the few things I knew about baseball. Namely, baseball players (and their fans) are often a superstitious bunch who believe in curses and such.
Here’s a great post about that on About.com:
As far as haunted ball fields, which was what I was originally interested in, here’s what I learned about that:
- There was a paranormal investigation conducted at Wrigley Field. According to Haunted Wrigley, some Cubs players and fans believed Harry Caray might be the specter responsible for their winning streak in 1998 so Ursula Bielski of Chicago Hauntings, Inc. was called in to investigate. They didn’t find much. Just some cold spots and other abnormal energy readings really. But there are other ghosts who may haunt the field, including Steve Goodman and Charlie Grimm. It’s rumored the ashes of both were buried on the playing field. Goodman behind the home plate and Grimm in left field. Some have reported seeing their ghosts.
- The Chihuahua’s ballpark in El Paso, Texas (really, it’s named after those yappy small dogs?) is partially built on an old cemetery from the early-mid 1800s, Camposanto. Here’s a part from Ballpark built on one of El Paso’s oldest cemeteries that intrigued me most:
The city grew and many of the cemeteries in what’s now Downtown El Paso, were pushed to the outer limits of the city. The remains were consolidated and moved to Cleveland Square, Concordia and Evergreen cemeteries.
“It was all shuffled around,” [Bernie] Sargent, [Chairman of the El Paso County Historical Commission] said. “They dug up some of the bodies. They did move all of the tombstones that were there, or the markers that were there. We don’t know for sure if they took all of the bodies. So we may have a haunted baseball park”.
- According to Haunted Places, the ghost of a native American man has been seen at the Oviedo baseball fields at the Oviedo Sports Complex In Oviedo, Florida.
Then there’s the story of the haunted hotels with ghosts that torment traveling baseball players.
- ESPN published a story about the haunting of MLB’s A-List. Apparently haunted happenings at The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee have spooked players on teams from the Angels and Braves all the way to the Red Sox. Here’s a video from the Associated Press about it:
- But the Pfister isn’t the only hotel with spectors spooking baseball players. The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Florida also has a rep for haunting baseball players.
The Miami New Times published a story about the Florida Marlins Not First Baseball Players To Be Spooked By Ghosts At St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Hotel. They included a Tweet in the article from relief pitcher Steve Cishek that made me ROFL:
I’m not sure if because ball players are open to curses that it makes them more open to ghosts in general or not, but I like that I found so many instances of ghost stories surrounding baseball players. Wonder if there’s any ghost hunting groups comprised of ex players? Not sure how good they’d be at investigating, but you know that show Ghost Bait on Bio? Maybe they’d make good bait and naturally attract spirits?