Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Baseball Hall of Fame

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I know that posting a folklore entry on Saturday makes it sort of a cheat to call it the Sunday folklore post.

But it’s festival season, I’m trying to get Mid ready to go-and I have 30 pounds of cherries that I’m trying to get processed out (I have peach cherry butter on the stove right now).

I haven’t written anything for the Haunted Western New York series in a very long time. This is a story that I grew up with (though I admit I grew up in Central New York so I’m cheating a little). I worked within walking distance of the Baseball Hall of Fame and its haunting status was sort of a given. Rather, it came up every so often that it’s haunted (and it was mentioned on the tours during that time-mid to late 1990s anyway). It wasn’t a huge topic of conversation but we knew.

I don’t know anyone who has actually seen Shoeless Joe but the whole town is steeped in ghosts, at least in a manner of speaking. Cooperstown takes its baseball really seriously, but it’s also the seat of the New York State Historical Society. The Cardiff Giant is housed at the Farmer’s Museum. It’s a very historical area that is sort of self aware about it, we know it, but we don’t really talk about it either-that’s tourist stuff, or special occasion stuff, not stuff we ever really sat around talking about.

The way that we’re told the story as locals is that the building is haunted, period. The most common story is that Shoeless Joe Jackson is not terribly impressed that he hasn’t been elected into the Hall of Fame. And there’s the generic sort of haunting reports that every building with a reputation seems to cause. But things apparently have moved and it’s apparently not uncommon to hear the sounds of someone breaking the cases at night-of course the cases are never being broken.

It’s not hard to think that a building that’s full of the relics of sports legends would carry some sort of residual energy. It’s especially not hard to see in a town that sort of vibrates with it.

 

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