A Ghost from the Past

I knew your mother (sister, aunt, father, brother, uncle) and I have stories to tell you about her and pictures to share.” How would you respond to the offer? I ask because this is where I find myself. It’s not my family involved, but the families of others I met in 1965. I’ve written a book You Came Here to Die, Didn’t You and that book includes information about lots of folks. The book is not a lurid exposé. But it does disclose secrets.

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“Put me in, Coach. I’m ready to play today.”

I wasn’t born yet! (And I don’t say that often anymore.) So, although my parents were baseball nuts, I don’t remember the names of the 1919 White Sox, called the Black Sox, because they threw the World Series. But I do remember the 1989 movie Field of Dreams. Kevin Costner’s character hears a voice in his cornfield demanding, “If you build it, he will come.” Passionate for the first time in his life, Costner builds a baseball field and waits. His reward is the arrival of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, a member of the Black Sox, back from the dead ready to play ball. Joe Jackson is joined by Eddie Cicotte, Buck Weaver, Arnold “Chick” Gandil, “Swede” Risberg and other once great players whose names no one knows. Costner’s sense of awe and his appreciation for the skill of the early players grows with the arrival of each one of them. (My awe as to how they arrived from the dead was not part of the movie.)

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