Superstitions are a huge part of sports. No sport is more notorious for its ridiculous superstitions than baseball. Whether it’s always having the same pre-game meal or urinating on your hands, there is no shortage of odd baseball superstitions. Below are the top 5 baseball superstitions known by the public.
5. Pre-Game Chicken
Hall of Famer Wade Boggs is known for being one of the greatest contact hitters of all-time. In 1988, Boggs struck out only 34 times in 719 plate appearances. Apart from being a phenomenal hitter, Wade Boggs was known for his strange superstitions. One of his most famous superstitions was his obsessive eating of chicken. Before every single game, Boggs would consume large amounts of chicken. Boggs attributes much of the success in his career to this bird, earning him the nickname, “Chicken Man”.
Along with eating chicken prior to playing, fans could catch Boggs taking batting practice and running sprints at same time before every game. Boggs would take bp at 5:17 and run sprints at 7:17 before every night game. As obsessive as these superstitions were, they helped guide Boggs to a Hall of Fame career.
4. Same Cup Since High School
Mark McGwire is 11th all-time in home runs (583) and has the 2nd most home runs in a single season with 70 in 1998. Although McGwire admitted to using steroids throughout the 90’s, he remains one of the most exciting hitters to watch of all-time. While taking steroids is certainly questionable behavior, it wasn’t the only questionable behavior McGwire was participating in during his 16 year career.
Mark McGwire wore the same cup from his high school days, all the way through his time in the big leagues. With all the steroid usage, you would think he would’ve needed a smaller one.
3. Gold Thong
Jason Giambi was another one of the juiced up players during baseball’s steroid era. Giambi launched 440 home runs during his 20 year career. Taking steroids wasn’t Jason’s only secret, Giambi’s secret to staying out of slumps was his strategic use of a gold thong. Whenever Giambi would start slumping, he would bust out his trusty gold thong and sport it under his uniform. He claimed the gold thong, “works every time” when trying to break out of a slump.
Jason was not too stingy with his good luck charm, as many of Giambi’s teammates have also allegedly worn the thong when in dire need of some hits. When it comes to breaking out of a slump, ballplayers will do whatever it takes.
2. Urinating on Hands
There are only a few Major League Baseball players who have consistently hit with no batting gloves throughout their careers. Moises Alou was one hitter who never wore batting gloves and had great success in the big leagues. One of Alou’s secrets to keeping his hands tough was urinating on them. While this may seem extremely unique, Moises was not the only player to have claimed this to be an effective tactic. Jorge Posada was another player who didn’t wear batting gloves and was a strong believer in idea the peeing on your hands will toughen them up.
While science shows that urine will actually soften the skin, who’s to say peeing on their hands didn’t help these hitters find great success on the field?
1. Turk Wendell
One of the most interesting players of all-time has to be Turk Wendell. The man had so many interesting superstitions it’s hard to keep track of them all. Probably the most sane and commonly seen superstition of Wendell was his refusal to ever step on the foul line. Turk was famous for his huge leaps over the line to ensure he never touched it.
The most unique behavior seen by Wendell was his habitual teeth brushing in between innings. After each inning, where Wendell can be seen chewing on black licorice, he returns to the dugout to brush his teeth.
Other curious behaviors from Turk Wendell include an obsession with the number 99, wearing a mountain lion/pig teeth necklace, only accepting the ball from the umpire when it was rolled to him, and waving to the center fielder before his first pitch. Turk Wendell was a one of a kind player that epitomized baseball’s superstitious tendencies.
Baseball will always be a superstitious sport. Whether it’s eating the same pregame meal or peeing on your hands, every ball player has some sort of superstition. What baseball superstitions do you have? Let us know in the comments!!!