Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Haunted baseball on the brain. Something wanted me to think about the curse of the Cubs this weekend. Or about their great fan: musician Steve Goodman, devoted even after death. Or about "Holy Cow"-yelling Harry Caray, still very much with us even post-mortem. Or any of all the wonderful, mysterious things said to haunt Chicago's Wrigley Field. I met Friday afternoon in the shadow of the great park with writer Mickey Bradley, a great guy who is finishing up--with co-author Dan Gordon--what sounds like an intriguing read indeed: Haunted Baseball: Ghosts, Curses, Legends and Eerie Events. Mickey and I talked about all the memories you might expect: the day the goat came, the day Harry left us, the day the Cubs won the pennant--96 hours after the death of hardcore fan Goodman. Mickey seemed intrigued by the tale of our ghost hunt at Cubs' Park back in 1998, when all of Chicago thought the recently departed Caray was sending down some good vibrations to the home team. But Mickey had some tales to tell that even a neighborhood girl like me had never heard of, including chilling accounts of the haunted hotels frequented by on-the-road players. Be on the lookout for what sounds like a great book, expected to be released in time for opening day 2007. Check for updates at hauntedbaseball.com.

Speaking of books and baseball . . . . After my meeting with Mickey Bradley, I headed downtown to give the nightly Chicago Hauntings tour. I arrived early, and it was getting drizzly, so I walked over to the Billy Goat Tavern to have a drink and ran into sweet Rick Kogan of the Chicago Tribune. We talked for awhile about things going on, and I got an update on the release date (September of this year) of Rick's upcoming book on the Billy Goat: A Chicago Tavern: A Goat, a Curse, and the American Dream, to be published by none other than Lake Claremont Press. Fitting indeed: both author and publisher are a Chicagophile's best friend. Check out www.lakeclaremont.com for ordering information and forthcoming details on the book release party, to be held at none other than . . . The Billy Goat!

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