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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Wiles: Ghost Stories in Cooperstown

The ghosts are moving tonight, restless… hungry… researching… 

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Samantha Tengelitsch was very interested in a career minor leaguer named Edward Matt, who played from 1909-1913 for seven different minor league teams in the upper Midwest, including Traverse City, Mich., where Samantha and her family now live. But Ed Matt is not a distant relative, so why the interest?

“Edward Matt is a ghost in our house,” Samantha wrote.

The family moved into the house in the summer of 2011, and by the fall, they realized they were not alone.

“I knew nothing about baseball before this.” Samantha notes. “I was coming up the stairs, and there was this man, with baggy pants, horizontally striped socks, and a baseball cap that looked very old-fashioned, with a shorter brim than they have today.”

Eventually, through multiple sightings, Samantha and Chris were able to converse with the ghost, and learned his name was Edward Matt, and that he had lived in their home when he played for the Traverse City Resorters of the Michigan State League in 1912. The Resorters’ ballpark was a block away.

...The couple decided not to mention the ghost to their 10-year-old daughter, Ava, in order to not frighten her. But then she saw him too.

“I feel like Edward Matt wants us to tell his story,” Samantha wrote in her initial email. The story continues to unfold, though details of Matt’s playing career, his injury, and even his obituary remain sketchy and incomplete.

Repoz Posted: November 01, 2012 at 08:11 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 01, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4289856)
I see Repoz is also a big fan of Elisha Cook Jr..
   2. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 01, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4290003)
Ed Matt at BBRef.

This is a great ghost to have, some random minor leaguer who hit .241 mostly in D ball. It's also a great research opportunity. Start by filling in some of the gaps on his BBRef page: "Hey Ed, which way did you bat? Where were you born?" Then go on from there. "That guy Grimes you played with at La Crosse, what was his first name? What was attendance like in Ottuwa? What did Win Noyes have that Joseph Hilgeford didn't?" Then you can get metaphysical: "Do you remember anything that happened to you after you left Traverse City in 1912? Why are you doomed to walk the earth? Why did the Holland Wooden Shoes fold after 1911?"

   3. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: November 01, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4290085)
Why are you doomed to walk the earth?

Because he batted only .241 and fielded .899?
   4. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 01, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4290150)
Our Wolverine revenant brings up an interesting semi-glitch at BBRef. Matt split 1911 between Class D Ottumwa and Class C Oshkosh. BBRef has XBH data for Ottumwa (Matt had a double and a triple) but none for Oshkosh. Meaning Matt has a slugging percentage figured for Ottumwa (.254) but not for Oshkosh. In figuring the full year's records, BBRef's math robot attempts to combine the two records, leading to the interesting combined line of a .218 BA and a .047 SLG.
   5. Dangerous Dean Posted: November 01, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4290273)
Great post, Fern.

Not much to add to Fern's masterpiece. But surely if he was a mediocre low-minor player the other aspects of his life must have overcome that. If I were a ghost, I would think I would manifest the professor aspect of my life, or my role as a concerned dad instead of the aspect of being an average athlete.

Maybe Ed was living in that house when he was a minor league ballplayer. If so, then is his ghost sometimes in the house in which he raised a family?
   6. Walt Davis Posted: November 02, 2012 at 01:47 AM (#4290677)
I smell a screenplay!!

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