I went into this episode as already a big fan of the books “Haunted Baseball” and “Field of Screams.” I assumed we’d hear some fun tales of hauntings at ball parks and I’m personally a big fan of their tales of teams that have an added home field advantage: The Milwaukee Brewers & Tampa Bay Rays put their opponents up in haunted hotels.
In addition to that, we took a big look at why exactly baseball is such a magnet for superstition and a belief in the supernatural. It turns out, it likely has a lot to do with the fact that baseball is so full of random chance and it’s part of human nature… how can we explain and find peace with random chance, good or bad fortune? Well, maybe the Gods are please/angry. What did we do to cause that happiness or vengeance? At that point, it’s easy to connect the thought process of current day baseball players with prehistoric hunters and farmers. Fascinating stuff!
Additionally, the journalistic side of me was curious how they got such great access to so many (literally hundreds) of professional players, current and past, major league and minor league. These two obviously traveled the country to spent a considerable amount of time creating the definitive collection of baseball-related ghost stories, spread over a two-volume set.
Our Fantastic Story: Max & Scott talk about their love of the game including mostly funny stories, plus Max’s family has some connection to one of baseball’s legends, Rogers Hornsby.
Dan & Mickey’s Fantastic Stories Include an emotionally impactful home run from Ken Griffey Jr. associated with a victim of the 9/11 attacks, remaining phantoms from the Hiroshima atomic bombing in Japan, and a haunting in the White Sox parking lot linked to one of the banned-from-baseball “Black Sox” who is looking to clear his name after his death.
Curses & superstitions are as much a part of baseball as balls & strikes. Folklore & baseball are intertwined as is the human behavior of seeking reason in chaos. Now, baseball’s a melting pot of cultures, introducing new ghost stories & beliefs.
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