In honor of Friday the 13th I thought I’d post early and talk about superstitions. Especially as they relate to baseball. Baseball is a sport filled with superstition. Anyone remember Aubrey Huff’s Rally Thong? It made it to the 2010 World Series Championship parade. Then there are the #rallyenchiladas that Ryan Vogelsong ate before each start in 2012. I made my own version every five days throughout the postseason and then I started making them again this year. I didn’t make them this week, and the results were not pretty for the Giants.
This season, there is the story of Pablo Sandoval putting on Madison Bumgarner’s cowboy boots before a game and he had a great day at the plate. He started wearing them before every game and went on a pretty hot streak.
As a fan, I’m somewhat superstitious. If the Giants don’t have a hit in the first couple of innings, I will loudly proclaim that the opposing pitcher has a No-hitter or Perfect Game going, and boom, someone gets a hit. Last Friday night Matt Cain was dealing, and my husband and I had plans to go see a band but I couldn’t leave until he’d given up a hit. I didn’t want to miss it if he repeated the rare and magical feat of two years ago when he threw a Perfect Game exactly two years ago today.
Baseball players have rituals, that aren’t exactly superstitions. I remember Rich Aurelia used to adjust his batting gloves before each at bat. When I went to a Giants game this season, I watched Hunter Pence run out and touch the center field wall before doing his warm ups. I’m not sure what to call Bumgarner’s snot rockets, though. Maybe more of a bad habit?
Johnny Scottsdale, the hero of Better Than Perfect, has a mantra he says to himself on the mound. Focus. Breathe. Let it go. He uses this mantra when his personal life gets complicated, too. Alice Harrison has her own rituals she shares with her son. They attend Fan Fest every year and she stays connected with her long lost love, Johnny, through the game of baseball. But when he joins the hometown team, it disrupts her routine. She is forced to face the past and let go of some firmly held beliefs. It takes a lot more than luck to win at the game of love.
So are you superstitious? Do you believe in luck? Leave a comment, if you’d like to share.