The Tiger Den

Your home for the CP Tigers baseball team


Posted by sharris2929 on March 16, 2011

Being so early in the spring, and the season being so far away, there obviously isn’t a great deal of news here at the Tiger Den.  Once the season gets closer we’ll have more player profiles, expert predictions for the season, celebrity guest columnists*, and plenty of other exciting features.  Until that time, expect a wide variety of content here at the Tiger Den.  Editorials, general baseball discussions, hell even book and movie reviews.  It’s all filler until the season comes along.  My vow is that I’ll try my hardest to enlighten, entertain, and make you think.  Or whatever.  Just keep coming back here, okay?

Superstition plays a larger role in baseball than in any other sport.  Watching a game makes that fact obvious.  You see players with their choreographed pre pitch routines (like Nomar Garciaparra and his famous batting glove tug/foot stop dance), and at first glance it just looks silly.  But there is more to it than that.  Players come to feel that these rituals, however strange or unusual, play a part in their success or failure.  Nomar’s routine probably started one day when he was wearing ill-fitting batting gloves and had some leg cramps he was working out.  And he probably had a big game, and immediately correlated his routine with his success.  That’s how baseball superstitions start.  And even though Nomar had many bad games after that, the superstition never stopped. 

When a reporter asked Babe Ruth if he had any superstitions, he said this:  “Just one.  Whenever I hit a home run, I make certain I touch all four bases.”  It was obviously a joke, but it tells us that even when our beloved game was in its infancy, superstitions were commonplace.  (Babe Ruth also once said, “Ty Cobb is a prick.  But he sure can hit.  God Almighty, that man can hit.”  That quote is unrelated to the present topic, but it sure is funny).  And many high-profile players have had very famous superstitions.

Wade Boggs was one of the more superstitions players in history.  He ate fried chicken before every single game.  He woke up at the same time every day, took exactly 100 grounders before every game, and took batting practice at the exact same time every day.  (He is also rumored to have once drank 60-70 beers on a cross-country flight, which is really awesome).  Did these things make him one of the most productive and consistent hitters of all time?  Of course not.  If anything the fried chicken may have hurt him.  But what is important.  He felt that it helped his performance, and that’s all that matters.

There are other, more widespread superstitions in baseball.  When a pitcher has a no-hitter going, you don’t mention it or talk to the pitcher.  Most players won’t step on the foul lines when taking or leaving the field.  Some players won’t shave before a game.  I’ve heard many pitchers will not have sex the night before they pitch. 

The point is that every player has at least some type of superstition.  Here at Tiger Nation, we’d like to hear what superstitions the Tigers themselves have. 

So all you Tigers reading this…leave a comment and let’s hear about the superstitious things you do in relation to baseball.  Fans and friends feel free to leave yours as well.

*Probably not


3 Responses to “Superstitions”

  1. Ryan said

    I have had many over the years. Reciting certain passages in my head while pitching if things got rough. Always walk around the mound the same way. Never step on homeplate unless I’m scoring a run. Talking to myself when on deck. Playing only certain songs before a game. My bat was always hitting with the same side (which is horrible for a bat!) Never step on the foul lines when entering/exiting the field.

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