March 29, 2007

THERE'S A WRITER WHO NEVER MET ROGIE VACHON:

Quirk of fortune: Superstitions the norm among baseball players (Stan Grossfeld, March 29, 2007, Boston Globe)

The Red Sox have had plenty of superstitious players.

First baseman Dick Stuart -- known as "Dr. Strangeglove" -- used to get comfortable in the batter's box and then take his used gum out and toss it across the plate. Third baseman Wade Boggs made it into the Hall of Fame with a routine of eating chicken before every game, taking batting practice at exactly 5:17, and running wind sprints at exactly 7:17. He also took exactly 150 ground balls in practice and carved the Hebrew "chai" symbol in the dirt each time he stepped to the plate, even though he is not Jewish. Shortstop Nomar Garciaparra taught a whole generation of New England kids to tap their toes and adjust their batting gloves before they stepped in.

No major sport has more rituals or superstitions than baseball. Players avoid touching the foul lines as if they are the third rail. They never talk to the pitcher during the late stages of a no-hitter. Some behave as if the baseball gods will strike them dead if they don't follow the same rituals.

Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn used to sleep with his bat.


That's just the Louisville Slugger Dutch Wife.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 29, 2007 7:09 AM
Comments

Spent a summer in Santa Monica in the mid-Seventies and stayed in the same apartment building as Monsieur Rogatien. (I know, you're happy for me!) Someone pointed him out and I thought they were joking. He was about waist-high with long hair, long sideburns, and gold jewelry. Don't know what the superstition was.

Posted by: Rick T. at March 29, 2007 9:13 AM
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