Big League Stew - MLB

There are any number of things to fear when visiting the fine city of Milwaukee.

Among them: Ryan Braun in the batter's box, a cholesterol increase by simply entering the city limits and being publicly shamed by that noisy delivery guy for not living his supposed high life.

If you're a visiting baseball player, you can also add one more fear to that list: Being harassed by ghosts while staying at The Pfister, a luxurious 116-year-old  hotel that's said to be haunted. 

According to the Palm Beach Post, "at least two pairs of Marlins" shared a room during this week's series against the Brewers because they're scared of the ghosts that haunt The Pfister.

Though the paper doesn't identify the spooked players, it's a well-known legend that The Pfister is often visited by the spirit of Charles Pfister, who founded the hotel in 1893.

Here's a primer on the hotel's scary story from AllStays.com (and I should mention that the photo above isn't of The Pfister, but just a stock AP photo that came up when I searched the archives for "haunted hotel"):

Pfister still visits to ensure that his guests are well taken care of at his "Grand Hotel of the West." A "visitor" has been spotted surveying the lobby from the grand staircase, strolling the minstrel's gallery above the ballroom, and passing through the ninth floor storage area. He is always described in roughly the same terms: "older," "portly," "smiling," and "well-dressed." Upon seeing a portrait of Charles Pfister, witnesses swore that it was the man they had seen.

The Post reports that several pro players in the past have been scared, with the most famous incident coming when then-Dodger Adrian Beltre(notes) went to bed while brandishing his bat for protection. (The Dodgers no longer stay at The Pfister while in Milwaukee.) Another run-in came last summer when the iPod of Minnesota's Carlos Gomez(notes) kept vibrating even after the outfielder repeatedly made sure it was turned off.

No Marlins reported any paranormal activity or sightings of Pfister during the stay, though it was the subject of some jokes among the young Marlins team.

"Every time there was a noise, JJ would yell, ‘It's the ghosts,''' said pitcher Dan Meyer(notes), who had separate but adjoining rooms with staff mate Josh Johnson(notes)

However, it is worth noting that Florida did get swept by the Brewers this series so maybe The Pfister has become part of Milwaukee's homefield advantage. 

(And here the Yankees thought they were the only team with ghosts on their side.)

A big BLS head nod to NBC Miami for the redirect.

UPDATE: Stew pal Lisa Swan of Subway Squawkers sends along this interesting tidbit:

"There is another reason to fear the Pfister hotel — it's been the location of not one but two baseball fights between teammates. And one of them killed the Yankees chances' in the 1974 season.

"In the '74 Pfight, the Yanks had two games left and were one game behind Baltimore. After reserve infielder Bill Sudakis and backup catcher Rick Dempsey brawled in the hotel lobby, Bobby Murcer tried to break up the fight, and ended up getting his finger broken. That also broke the team's playoff hopes that year — the Yanks lost the next day without their best player in the lineup.

"In the 1998 phistercuffs, Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitchers Marc Wilkins and Jeff Tabaka got in fight — apparently over a card game — and Tabaka ended up on the DL with a fractured jaw."

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