A GHOST OF A CHANCE IN SCRANTON
I’m not talking about the PawSox and their series with the first place Yankees (although it may fit), I am talking about our hotel in Scranton. I have written before about the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, and the rumors that swirl around the converted train station. Every team that I have been with in the I.L. has always had some comment or story about the hotel being haunted or inhabited by ghosts. I started to wonder where the rumors came from. My answer came from Paul Brower, or “Red” as he’s known. Red is the visiting clubhouse manager at PNC Field in Moosic, Pennsylvania. A guy that has become a fixture in the league, a guy you always look forward to seeing. Red was well-versed in the birth of the rumors and was more than willing to share the stories. Apparently, the hotel, or train station back in the old days was used as a morgue for slain soldiers, killed during World War I. Their bodies were kept there until funeral arrrangements could be made, or families could scrape up funds for a proper burial. “The rumors really started back in 1995 when we hosted the I.L. All Star Game.” They’ve picked up steam ever since. According to Brower, former Scranton manager Marc Bombard really helped perpetuate the myths. “Yeah, Bomby was into it.” Recently, Lehigh Valley slugger Terry Tiffee felt the wrath of the haunted hotel. “Tiffee was staying in room 420 and heard a knock at the door.” Reportedly, he answered the door and an African American gentleman in a tuxedo, claiming to be a bellman asked if everything was OK. Tiffee thought it was a strange visit, so he called the front desk to ask about his visitor. The girl at the desk told Tiffee that the hotel employed no such person. “Tiffee was sufficiently spooked to pack his bags and move across the street to the Hilton, paying the $200 per night tab himself.” Teammate Cedric Bowers decided to do some investigating, and supposedly found a “hallway” somewhere in the hotel that he was told didn’t really exist. The curious Bowers was eventually shown the area that was once the morgue. I told you earlier of the story of Dustin Pedroia claiming to see the ghost of a young boy in a top hat and a Giants jersey in his room. Real or imagined, the hotel in Scranton has people looking over their shoulder. Even if you use the “dead bolt” you’re probably not safe. Red, who works fulltime for the Postal Service says the scares in Scarnton are not confined to just the hotel. “Supposedly, this ballpark is built on top of an ancient Indian burial ground.” Brower adds that former General Manager, Rick Muntean bought into the whole deal. “Once when Rick was at the Winter meetings in New Orleans, he bought a voodoo doll from a little shop in the city. When we’d make the playoffs, we’d bury it under home plate.” Former Philly third baseman, Scott Rolen was playing with Scranton at the time and he is said to have the doll. Rolen currently plays for the Reds. Whether the hotel is haunted or not, if the park is disturbing the eternal resting place of some native Ameriicans, or if voodoo really works, who knows? Red says he will definitely retire some day from the post office, but will never give up his other gig as the visiting “clubbie” or the resident Edgar Allen Poe.