Is The Texas Rangers St. Pete Hotel Haunted? Some Say Yes

Is The Texas Rangers St. Pete Hotel Haunted? Some Say YesBuilt in 1925, the Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Florida has been a luxury destination for celebrities and sports figures dating back to the days when Babe Ruth would pay frequent visits to the renowned property. Since the resort is located less than two miles from Tropicana Field, these days, the Vinoy serves as the road hotel for the vast majority of teams visiting the area to take on the Tampa Bay Rays. The Texas Rangers are no different, lodging at the hotel during Games 3 and 4 of the 2011 American League Divisional Series. The Rangers also stayed here during last season's ALDS vs. the Rays, as well as when the club visits for regular season play.

Since Major League Baseball arrived in St. Petersburg in 1998, many visiting ballplayers have been literally “spooked” by the potential presence of “paranormal” activity within the hotel.  For decades, rumors have persisted regarding the existence of unregistered guests “floating around” the sleeping rooms and hallways of the large building. These “whispers” have become more prevalent since an early 90's hotel renovation and the now continuous flow of newsmakers making their way in and out of the hotel throughout the baseball season.

In June, members of the visiting Florida Marlins, including pitchers Steve Cishek and Leo Nunez, proclaimed the existence of strange noises within their respective rooms, with Cishek crafting this rather bizarre comment on his Twitter account:

“Currently crapping my pants...Can't sleep...My room is def haunted has reported numerous other supposed paranormal encounters, including some rather weird tales featuring former relief pitchers Scott Williamson, John Frascatore and Billy Koch, as well as outfielder Jay Gibbons. Each player insists that they either witnessed something strange or literally felt the presence of something or someone out of the realm of normal life.

Back to the experiences of this week's visitors, the Texas Rangers. In 2009, FOX Sports Southwest seized upon these rumors and ran a tongue-in-cheek feature regarding Texas' arrival at the hotel for a regular season series. After than rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus reportedly experienced something peculiar in his room, producers set up a "ghostly" gag with than rookie reliever Neftali Feliz as the victim. The bit was carried out by Rangers legend Michael Young and former Texas pitchers Eddie Guardado and Kevin Millwood. The Rangers' veterans seemed to really enjoy razzing the young kids of the team, even though a couple of the old guys, most notably Guardado, were not positively uncertain about the validity of the stories.

Based on years of rumors and recollections, it's quite possible that the Rangers' goings-on at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club could be just as “frightening” as having to deal with the Rays' pitching staff and the big bat of Evan Longoria over the next couple days. Stay tuned to hear if any new “tales of fright” arise within the Vinoy's guest rooms or down its “chilling” hallways.