Compared to rest of this nation’s major sports, baseball is somewhat of an odd duck. Whether it’s the irregularly-shaped field of play or the leisurely pace of play, it’s always stood out from its less pastoral brethren on the sports scene. Its players come in all shapes and sizes, from all over the world, and with all manner of odd quirks. In fact, baseball players have a long and illustrious history of bizarre superstitions and traditions.
(Yes, Hanley, the ghost came from the sky.)
The 1908 White Sox were scared of shaving. Turk Wendell was scared of the foul line. Craig Biggio was scared of washing his helmet. Today we add a new bizarre superstition to the list: the Florida Marlins are scared of ghosts.
According to an item in today’s PALM BEACH POST (via the awesome Janie Campbell of NBC MIAMI):
True story: At least two pairs of Marlins players are sharing a room in Milwaukee because of their fear of ghosts. The Pfister Hotel is famous for its ghost stories and paranormal activity. And stories of other baseball players’ ghostly encounters there have made there way around clubhouses.
One of the most popular sightings by guests is the ghost of Charles Pfister, the owner when the hotel opened in 1893, overlooking the ornate lobby from the grand staircase.
The main problem we have with this situation is not the one you might think. You wanna believe in ghosts? Fine. Lots of otherwise intelligent people believe in ‘em, and baseball players are superstitious to begin with. The silly part is the idea that the ghost of the hotel’s founder would be chasing people around. The man dedicated his life to serving his guests; he’s not the type of spectre that would go around hurting baseball players, for crying out loud. It’s obvious, right?
Then again, it’s probably no coincidence that the Marlins are the youngest team in the majors. This motley bunch of wayward youths are only a few years removed from night lights and security blankets; it’s no wonder they’re still scared of ghosts, even benevolent hotelier ghosts. One can only imagine the fright they feel when staring into the cold, dead eyes of bogeyman owner Jeffrey Loria. Now that’s something to be scared of.