Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Strange Superstitions

Michael Jordan wore his old Carolina jersey under his Bulls jersey during his famed NBA career. Every sport has their share of superstitious athletes but baseball seems to have the strangest.

Turk Wendell may not be the only superstitious baseball player, but he certainly is one of the strangest. He jumps over the third- and first-base lines every time he enters or exits the field. He brushes his teeth between every inning he pitches. He cannot simply drop the rosin bag after using it—he has to hurl it into the ground with the same force he uses for his fastball.

Former major-leaguer Wade Boggs was famous for eating chicken before games. He also was known for taking fielding practice at the same time every day.

Frank Viola, a three-time MLB all-star and former Cy Young winner had a secret to his success on the mound. He would clean the mound before every inning, kicking up dirt ex-actly four times. However, if something bad happened, he couldn’t do it in repetition of four’s any more, instead he would try three or five.

John Smoltz, was once doing jumping jacks in the clubhouse during an Atlanta Braves rally,was afraid to stop because he didn’t want to be held responsible for the end of the Braves’ scoring. He ended up doing jumping jacks for nearly half an hour.

One that stands out above all others is Nomar Garciaparra. When leaving the dugout, Nomar must step on each step with both feet. When out in the field, he frequently removes his glove, smells the inside, his hand, and then puts the glove back on.

When batting, he is out of control. After every pitch, he must step out of the batter's box, adjust each batting glove, give each of them a tug, and touch his nose. When he steps back into the batters box, he carefully digs each foot in one at a time, taps his toes, and shifts his weight back and forth from one foot to another.

What are your favorite superstitions?

The idea for this post came from The Sports Pulse. He has some other superstitions listed there as well.