As superstitious athletes go, baseball players rank about the top of the list. Whether to improve personal performance or to maintain a winning streak, some baseball players and teams will perform odd rituals and crazy activities to ensure a good game.
Here are a few of the stranger baseball superstitions:
Many fans and players believe that wearing a rally cap will help their team win. A rally cap is just a baseball cap that is worn sideways, backwards, even inside out. It is commonly worn late in a game when the home team needs to score runs, when it is down or in a tie ball game.
What a player eats before a game is another superstition. Wade Boggs used to eat chicken before every game. This earned him the nickname, “Chicken Man”. He would also walk out on the field at the exact same time before each ball game. Could Boggs’ superstitions have helped him achieve one of the greatest pro baseball careers of all time?
Another eater was Red Sox Pitcher Tim Wakefield, who would eat a pound of spaghetti before any game he was starting.
Second baseman Amby McConnell had an odd superstition that involved a continually search for pins. Whenever he was in a batting slump, he would look for and pick up any pin he found, believing it was a sign that his slump would end.
Another more common superstition is for a player to not walk on the base line. Watch carefully during a game and you will often see a pitcher as he’s walking to the mound step over or jump over the line.
Other odd behaviors that baseball players may perform includes play with their batting gloves when they’re in the batter’s box, spitting, or holding the baseball bat a certain way while standing at the plate.
Some players will not their wash helmets, hats or uniforms during a winning streak, nor will they talk about a “no-hitter” or a “perfect game” that may in progress.
Managers also have interesting superstitions. Detroit Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland wanted to make sure that his team kept on winning by wearing the same ‘lucky’ boxers. When the team began a winning streak in 2011, Leyland continued to wear the same boxers until the Tigers’ winning streak ended.
What do you think about superstition in sports? Do you have any rituals that you perform that you believe help you play better?