More than any other game played today, baseball is, as Ken Burn’s so eloquently put, a haunted game. Players are held up to the ghosts of their forefathers, endlessly compared based on the merits of their line-scores and stats sheets.
But beyond the physical and mathematical comparison, the sport of baseball is said to play host to a myriad of spirits and specters.
Among these legends are the famed ghosts of Wrigley Field, one of baseball’s oldest shrines.
Indeed, the Cubs were one of the first teams known to (almost) officially acknowledge the presence of the supernatural in their stadium. It all happened late in the summer of 1998, when, miracle of all miracles, the Cubs were winning. In an effort to discover the source of their sudden surge, team ownership brought in Ursula Bielski and her team from Chicago Hauntings, Inc.
Many long-time fans attributed the Cubs’ success to the specter of Harry Caray, their legendary broadcaster who had passed before the beginning of the season.
But according, to Bielski the ghost hunters “didn’t find anything in the announcer’s box at all.”
Maybe they should have checked the beer stands.
They did, however, find evidence of cold spots and strange energy readings throughout the park, measured with their special ghost hunting equipment. If not Caray, who could be haunting the Cubs?
One answer could be nationally renowned singer Steve Goodman, who penned many songs detailing his love for the perennial losers. There are several published reports which claim that Goodman’s ashes were buried behind home plate. Several employees have claimed to have seen his ethereal form, sitting in the stands behind the backstop.
There’s also the ghost of Charlie Grimm, who played the Cubs before managing the team to several National League pennants in 1932, 1935, and 1945. His ashes are also said to be buried in a box in left field. Many security guards have witnessed paranormal events attributed to Grimm. One such man is Marty Moore, who spent 17 years in the Cubs’ employ.
The most predominant story, he claims, revolves around the bullpen phone, which has been known to ring in the middle of the night.
“The story is that Charlie is calling the bullpen,”Moore says in the book “Haunted Baseball.” “It’s very eerie when you are here by yourself.”
Further tales of the paranormal abound in the game of baseball. Stay tuned for further tales from the haunted game.