Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ghosts of Baseball

Home Team 1922
   Peoples we know as American Indians migrated across the Bering Sea. They moved down through Alaska and Canada to the lower reaches of the American continent. Strong winds pushing, swirling, lightning-marred clouds of black and gray followed the tribes on their journeys. Death clouds were their constant companions.
   Bodies of the fallen were buried where they fell and held sacred by the tribes. Burial ground are scattered across the North American continent. Thousands are lost or forgotten except by the spirits that lurk near their earthly remains.
   As time went by white settlers arrived and took possession of the land. Towns grew along the trails. Railroads forged their way across the frontier. Group games allowed players to take the field as teams. The game of baseball was born where a level field free from rocks and trees could be found.
   Nothing was known of what had gone before as all traces of those resting below the turf had vanished into time.  Clouds of death knew where the fallen resided. They watched as their concentrated soil became the playing fields of their conquerors to be trampled and pounded by alien feet. Spirits expressed their displeasure at the sacrilege of their sacred home.

   Observers reported seeing phantom figures moving the bases. Players were knocked to their knees while standing in position. Balls were deflected from the player's hand as if an unknown batter was in the game, whose presence they could feel yet couldn't see.
   Chalked numerals changed by unseen hands when no runs were scored. Teams waiting on the sidelines and locker rooms were harassed as equipment disappeared or was destroyed. Fans suffered as their chairs were pulled from under the, dumping their food and beverages.
   Eerie death chants echoed on the wind across the fields, through the bleachers, and in the dugouts wherever these facilities were built over the sacred Indian burial grounds.
   The game of baseball became so popular professional teams were organized that could travel long distances to play opposing teams. Huge stadiums were built to house these events. The early players who took to the fields were dying off, but they didn't abandon their chosen home.
   "Ghosts are believed to be actual entities, intelligent beings that are surviving death." /author unknown, but it is a quote.
   Charlie Babb played for the New York Giants in 1903. He moved to Brooklyn Suberbas playing short stop, first, second, and third base. His images still visits his old fields. He has been known to stand next to the players who currently hold his positions.

Ghost of Yankee Stadium

   Yankee Stadium hosts a legion of baseball greats who keept the faith after death.
   Harry Ables played for the Saint Louis Browns and the Naps early in his career, his home field from 1905-1911 was Yankee Stadium when the team was known as the Highlanders. Harry has been seen sitting in one of the windows of the score board keeping runs for his beloved team.
   Babe Ruth's faded contract when he was sold to the Yankees from the Boston Red Socks still hangs on the wall. His worn, tattered, and torn uniforms remain in the keeping room. On game day Babe can be seen walking along what remains of the Old Concord Road. He also visits watering holes in Sudbury.
   Joe DiMaggio was born on November 25, 1914 and died March 8, 1999. He played his entire career with the Yankees. His last game in uniform was in 1951 and four years later he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. His spirit still lives the sport. In the locker room he likes to play pranks such as holding the bats so they cannot be moved to the practice field or switching gloves and shoes of the players.
   On the field during practice Joe has been seen helping young players develop a feel for the game.  He has been sighted sitting in the windows of the score board. Fans report him in the grandstands or on the roof of the dugout cheering for his team. When the team sustains a loss he walks the streets of New York.
   Fans like Yankee memorabilia collector Ben Blake have experienced strange happenings. Blake came into possessions of a ball from 1958. It was in a plexiglass case fastened to the wall with screws long enough to reach through the case into the wall studs. A few years later Blake added a ball to his collection that had been signed by twenty-seven Yankee players including Dandy Koufax and Micky Mantle. It was mounted in a separate case next to the "58" ball. During supper the same night the second ball was added to the collection a crash was heard from his study.
   When he got to the room both cases lay shattered on the floor and the two balls were gone. Later Blake found the signed ball, purchased a new case, and remounted it, but the "58" ball was never found. From that day on his study had a eerie feeling and was always cold with a breeze from an unknown source strong enough to move the curtains.

Wrigley Field home of the Chicago "Loveable Losers" Cubs.

   In 1998 the Cubs were winning! The owners' couldn't understand the strange turn of events. They called paranormal investigator, Ursula Bielski.  She and several aids were given permission to go anywhere in the stadium and encouraged to do so. They checked the entire field, the dugouts, both home and visiting team locker rooms and found nothing until they explored the bleachers.
   Fields of energy and cold spots where the temperature would drop as low as four degrees Celsius for a few seconds while the outside temperature remained 72 were recorded. Readings such as these on paranormal equipment are expected where tragic or traumatic evens have occurred, but not in the stands of a major league baseball stadium. The only connection the investigators could discover was that before the 1998 season began the longtime announcer, Harry Caray died.
   The songwriter, Steve Goodman, best known for composing the Arlo Guthrie hit City of New Orleans was a longtime Cubs fan. He practically lived at Wrigley Field. He died from leukemia several days before the Cubs made their first post-season game after forty years of losing. Claims have been made that Goodman can be seen sitting in the stands behind home-plate.
   Charlie Grimm played and managed the Cubs several times leading up to their winning pennants in 1932, 1935, and 1945. Rumor has it that Grimm's ashes are buried in a box in left centerfield. Grimm is believed to still be in the ballpark. Security guards who worked at Wrigley for more than seventeen years claim to hear the bullpen and dugout phones ring in the middle of the night.
   Grimm's presence is also felt in the front office. Guards have reported that on a walk through the lights are off, but when they returned the lights were on. The guards would hear their names called though they were the only ones in the park.
   Fans can be heard cheering from the upper decks when no one is present. Wrigley is a fan-friendly stadium  that is considered the most beautiful baseball park in the league.
   The winning didn't last. In October the singing bats turned to clumsy clubs. Was Billy Sianis' curse of P.K. Wrigley, for having him and his goat ejected from a game in 1945. still pervading the club? Were the spirits of "those gone before" exercising their displeasure at having the sacred burial grounds trampled and pounded to the strains of "Play Ball?" 

  When Ford Nashett was doing the research for his contributions to Games of Death he found the truth was stranger than fiction. He published his research as a non-fiction piece in the book because the facts he discovered made a fascinating story.


  1. Wow! I had no idea that baseball was troubled with the ghosts of former players. Wonder what Yogi Berra's shade would do?

  2. I had the privelige of seeing Joe Dimaggio play, back in 1945. Three long outs, and the crowd applauded and said, "Next time, Joe."

  3. This must be why my batting average in Little League was .215. I knew it wasn't my fault ... it was powers beyond my control. I feel better now!