All Hallows Eve’ afforded the NotGraphs Séance & Conjuring Committee of Creeps & Twerps the opportunity to commune with baseball spirits past. The Committee summoned the Cubs’ famous double play combo of Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance by chanting “Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance” while burning pipe tobacco as incense and circling around a raw chicken, blessing it with an Old Style-infused miter.
The spirits obliged; this is the resulting exchange:
NotGraphs Séance & Conjuring Committee of Creeps & Twerps: What is it like, being dead?
Tinker: Oh, it is really frustrating. I should like to don the new fashions of today — your day, the today of the living, I mean — because I was a bit of a dandy during my corporeal life. I should like to pluck my unibrow, have a suit fitted, ride the subway, do business! But, being dead, my hands just pass through my face, and when I look at myself I cannot tell if this is my old ball uniform that I am wearing, soiled from my passing, or just the sag of ghostly nakedness. Death is a threadless blur…
NGSCCCT: Evers? Chance?
Evers: A mouth is for kissing. Look at me!
Chance: Being dead, it, it’s just no different than being alive. It’s all dirt.
NGSCCCT: If you were alive today, what would you dress up as for Halloween?
Tinker: Probably a very handsome vampire bat, sir!
Evers: I’d have to say an anvil. My head would be the anvil and my body would be the thing an anvil rests upon — an anvil stool, as it were.
Chance: I would go as Prudence. The Aristotelean Virtue of Prudence.
NGSCCCT: Is there a message that you would like to deliver to today’s ballplayers?
Tinker: Aim to strike to the ball, not to watch it; aim to look good doing so.
Evers: I once played for a team called the Orphans! We had no parents! Be thankful for your lives! And kiss mouths!
Chance: Don’t waste all your strength on a few good years.
And then they were gone. Soon enough, we all will be, too.