Tricks, treats and fun at the Hall of Fame

Written by: Isabelle Minasian

For years, it has been rumored that the Hall of Fame is haunted.

And though no evidence of any spectral presences at the Museum have been found, there are lots of Halloween-related artifacts that have been preserved in the collection over the years.

Among the more eerie is a plastic Larry Andersen mask, fashioned to resemble the Phillies reliever. Philadelphia distributed these at Veterans’ Stadium on July 26, 1985, as part of their Halloween Night at the Vet promotion.

Decades earlier, a White Sox player donned a monkey mask and posed for a photograph by renowned photographer Osvaldo Salas. The player’s identity remains a mystery to this day, but the photo is part of the Museum’s collection of more than a quarter-million unique images.

In recent years, fake beards or beard hats have become popular giveaway items – though not at Yankee Stadium. During his time with the San Francisco Giants, reliever Brian Wilson sported a voluminous beard that prompted fans to adopt the phrase “Fear the Beard.” The Giants gave away facial hair facsimiles as a promotion during the 2010 season and Wilson went on to record the save in Game 5 of the World Series, which sealed San Francisco’s Fall Classic victory.

There may or may not be ghosts in the Hall, but there certainly are plenty of phantoms in the archives: Phantom tickets, that is. Though they may sound spooky, these tickets serve as an opportunity to reflect on alternative histories.

To prepare for the postseason, MLB teams will often produce copies of tickets featuring potential playoff matchups. The tickets that go unused are then referred to as “phantom” tickets, because they are for games or series that did not come to fruition.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Halloween without candy. Many a ballplayer has appeared on the front of a cereal box, but some have even had candy bars made in their honor. Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson had Reggie! Bars, which featured chocolate-covered caramel and peanuts and were available from 1978-1981.

Pacific Candy Co. distributed Wade Boggs candy bars a few years later: Simple chocolate bars that highlighted the future Hall of Famer’s career statistics.

Meanwhile, Malley’s Chipper Bar depicted beaming Braves star third baseman Chipper Jones, and kept it classic with milk chocolate and crisped rice.

It only took Ken Griffey Jr. a few months in the majors to garner an eponymous treat. The teenage phenom’s chocolate bar displayed his batting stance on the front, and his first major league milestones on the back.

Baby Ruth bars are often associated with the Babe, but the Curtiss Candy Company claimed they were named after President Glover Cleveland’s young daughter, Ruth.

And, if we’re talking candy, we can’t forget Hall of Famer Candy Cummings, who was renowned not for his confections but for his curveball, which was one of the first of its kind to ever be pitched.

Scary stuff? More like a treat for baseball fans who visit the Hall of Fame.

Isabelle Minasian is the digital content specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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