Thursday, August 8, 2013

Baseball Superstitions, The Weird, The Odd, & Turk Wendell

In honor of what's going on with the Detroit Tigers without saying what's going on with the Tigers based on a superstition I have, I did a little research and came back with some of the best I could find. Take a look....

The Weird

  • Lets just get weird out of the way right off the bat with Jason Giambi, who wears a gold thong as a slump buster when things aren't going well.  There's of course that other definition of the slump buster in baseball...
  • Did I say, get weird out of the way...well in a well publicized "superstition" Moises Alou would pee on his hands as he believed it would make his hands tougher and avoid blisters
  • The skipper Jim Leyland wore the same boxers during a 2011 Tigers winning streak without washing them.  Imagine if he didn't smoke how bad his office would stink these days...
  • Kevin Rhomberg of the Cleveland Indians would get tagged out on the bases and in turn would immediately tag that person back.  A funny story has Rick Sutcliffe once reached under a bathroom stall and touched Rhomberg's toe, who spent the afternoon going around touching all his teammates not knowing who touched him
  • How about Nomar and his batting glove routine and Biggio and the pine tar on his helmet?
  • You knew that Mark "the bird" Fidrych would make this list and the way he played around with the dirt on the mound and wouldn't reuse a ball that had gone for a hit
  • Mark McGwire wore the same cup from High School through out his Major League career
  • Milwaukee Brave Rico Carty once lit five candles in his bathtub, sink, and toilet of his hotel room in hopes of going 5-for-5
  • Larry Walker is obsessed with the number 3 in which he sets his alarm for 33 minutes past the hour, takes swings in multiples of threes, wore #33, was married on November 3rd at 3:33
Ok, kind of makes sense
  • Mark Teixeira wears two different socks these days as by accident C.C. Sabathia's sock made it in to Texieria's locker who wears number 25 (C.C.'s sock had on it #52) and while wearing a #52 sock and #25 sock when on to hit two homers and collect six RBI
  • R.A. Dickey names his bats
  • The GM for the San Diego Padres Kevin Towers would leave his suite every time Trevor Hoffman came in for a save and never saw one of them.  That's 552 times!!
  • Popeye's stores would have populated the city a bit more if the Tigers would have traded for Matt Garza as he goes there before every start
  • On a similar note, Wade Boggs would eat the same meal before every game eating fried chicken
  • Boggs, also had to take BP at 5:17 before every night game
  • Thought we were done with Wade?  Nope, he had to take 150 ground balls before games
  • We're still not done as Boggs wrote the word Chai (Hebrew for Life) in the batters box before every at bat
  • Don Robinson never wanted anyone to throw him the ball to start an inning, he'd have to pick it up off the ground.  Ok I have to do that too before throwing it to by SS once before the inning starts when I pitch.
  • Nyjer Morgan wore blue argyle socks under his game socks to help the Brewers out of a funk and kept wearing them after
  • Yankee legend Joe DiMagigo would run out to center and touch second base every time
  • Big Pappi David Ortiz spits on hit batting gloves before every at bat
  • Roger Clemens as a Yankee would go touch the plaque of Babe Ruth in Monument Park before every home start
  • I see nothing wrong with Richie Ashburn sleeping with his bat and nor should you
  • If I was a starting pitcher I too would eat a stack of pancakes before every start like Jim Palmer
  • Every time Lenny Dykstra made an out he blamed his batting gloves and would get a new pair
  • Houston Astros Charlie Kerfeld wore a Jetsons t-shirt under jersey while on the mound, not to mentioned as part of his contract insisted on 37 boxes of orange Jell-O
  • Stan "the man" Musial ate the same breakfast on game day starting with an egg, then two pancakes, and finishing his last egg
  • Justin Verlander eats three crunchy tacos (no tomato), a cheesy gordita crunch, and a Mexican pizza (no tomato) from Taco Bell before each start
And then there was Turk Wendell

  • My favorite player to watch, Turk Wendell would LEAP over the foul line ensuring he didn't touch it.  
  • Wendell would also chew black licorice every inning that he went out to the mount and had a certain number of pieces (4)
  • Turk would then come in every inning and brush his teeth
  • Did you know Wendell liked the number 9?  He wore #99 and in 2000 signed a contract for $9,999,999.99
  • After each batter no mater what, Wendell would pick up the rosin bag and throw it down

Here are some other general superstitions that I found although I have to admit I haven't heard the dog one...
  • Spitting into your hand before picking up the bat is said to bring good luck.
  • A wad of gum stuck on a player's hat brings good luck.
  • It is bad luck if a dog walks across the diamond before the first pitch.
  • Some players believe it is good luck to step on one of the bases before running off the field at the end of an inning.
  • It is bad luck to touch the baselines while running off and onto the field between innings.
  • Lending a bat to a fellow player is a serious jinx.
  • Some players actually sleep with their bat to break out of a hitting slump or stay in a groove.
  • If a pitcher is throwing a perfect game or a no-hitter, never speak of it while it's going on.

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