Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee has some Tampa Bay Rays baseball players sleeping with one eye open while the team faces the Brewers in a two-game series this week.
The landmark hotel built in 1893 has a long history of alleged haunting encounters between its guests and ghosts — including Major League Baseball athletes who pass through the city during regular season, playoffs, and World Series games. Such encounters have included hearing weird noises, lights flickering, and electronics acting erratically.
Tampa Bays’ Cuban infielder Yandy Diaz recently admitted he fears ghosts more than any other player on the team, which led the others to take advantage of his phobia.
Before traveling to Wisconsin on Sunday, the Rays wrapped up a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers, scoring seven runs in the top of the 9th inning, defeating the Tigers 7-0.
As the team celebrated its victory, Diaz was met with a cartoon ghost print-out taped on his locker with the Spanish word “Cuidado,” which translates to “watch out,” written on the image.
According to Tampa Bay Times, Diaz considered switching hotels, but opted for a room in Pfister’s newer, undisturbed tower.
“All I want is (to not) have any ghosts in my room,” Diaz told Tampa Bay Times using team interpreter Manny Navarro.
Roman Quinn, Tampa Bays’ outfielder, said he heard several ghost stories from former Philadelphia Phillies teammates, who told him one specter made regular visits — from sitting on the hotel bed to moving clothes around the room, and appearing in hallways before vanishing upon a second look.
First baseman and left fielder Ji-Man Choi reportedly felt a spirit in his bed the first time he stayed at the 129-year-old Milwaukee hotel. Choi included in his bio for the Rays that he “is terrified of ghosts and believes to have had many encounters with them, including hugs and whispers.”
However, Choi recently said he’d say hello if he saw a ghost.
Pitcher Ryan Yarbrough said the reports of Pfister being a so-called haunted hotel don’t concern him.
“I’m not saying I don’t believe in any of that,” Yarbrough told Tampa Bay Times. “I just feel like if you don’t try to overly concern yourself with it, maybe bad things won’t happen.”
Yarbrough said he suspects some more pranks to play out during the trip, considering the Rays have “some funny guys” on the team.
“But no, I think it’s fine,” he added. “I think certain guys are very intrigued, and some guys want nothing to do with it. So I’m just trying to be even-keeled about it. But Yandy is the guy.”
Tampa Bay’s manager Kevin Cash jokingly said that maybe if Diaz encounters a ghost, he’ll break the infielders’ 0-20 skid.
Diaz and the rest of the team will stay in Milwaukee as the team battles the Brewers Tuesday and Wednesday night until heading over to Baltimore for another three-game series against the Orioles that begins on Friday.
However, the team faces a supernatural threat for the next few nights avoiding the Pfister Hotel ghosts, which a former hotel employee speculated is the establishment’s founder, Charles Pfister.
Anna Lardinois, who was the Pfister Narrator, told WUWM 98.7 earlier this year that she spent a lot of time researching the hotel’s history and concluded that all signs point to the founder himself.
“Charles Pfister is so closely connected with this hotel, he becomes kind of the spokes-ghost,” Lardinois said. “And if you had to have a ghost in a hotel, I can’t think of a better one than Charles Pfister.”
“Because Charles Pfister, it appears, just wants you to have an amazing time in his hotel and wants the hometown baseball team to win.”
The hotel did not respond to a request for an interview or comment to the local radio station.
But nearly 10 years ago, the establishment somewhat addressed the rumors about the hotel’s permanent guests on Twitter.
“The only thing ‘haunting’ us here is the spirit of hospitality, and it’s been here for 120 years,” Pfister Hotel tweeted.
The only thing 'haunting' us here is the spirit of hospitality, and it's been here for 120 years. @ShaneVictorino got it right. 🙂
— The Pfister Hotel (@PfisterHotel) May 31, 2013