legends

We have a unique topic on this episode of Cover the Bases.  Rather than the biographies, histories and memoirs that we usually speak about, instead we cover myths, legends and ghost tales with Dan Gordon.  Dan is a Thomas J. Watson Fellow and has covered the game of baseball internationally, but discovered the folklore and story telling near his home on Cape Cod MA., leading him to seek out those same types of stories in baseball.

His first book is Haunted Baseball: Ghosts, Curses, Legends, and Eerie Events published by Lyons Press.  He has a followup book coming out in the summer of 2010 called Field of Screams.  There is a web site to find information about his books at HauntedBaseball.com.

With his co-author and classmate from Union College, Mickey Bradley, Dan headed off to his first Spring Training with a few ideas and some access to players.  With a bit of apprehension his first interview was Turk Wendell, one of the most superstitious and colorful characters in the game.  Turk’s initial advice was to “go talk to the Yankees” which seemed to be a common response.

The book opens with the Yankees in their Spring Training facility called Huggins Stengel Field. The team trained there from the 1920’s up through the Sixties, and carries many stories from local residents and grounds crew.  Dan always makes it a point to visit some of the old facilities around baseball since they have a great chance of catching a glimpse of nostalgia.  It is said at Huggins Stengel that you can see Babe Ruth’s apparition and Casey Stengel sitting in the dugout, as well as noises of card games in the clubhouse.

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