whitney guenther

Since its beginning, baseball has been full of superstition. Many players have practices they swear make them play better, and major leaguers are not the only ones with these stange beliefs.

Elementary school kids, high school all-stars and college players all have superstitions. Some common ones include not touching the foul line, talking to a bat or ball or not washing clothing after a win. Though they may seem crazy, players and coaches swear by their habits.

Former Cal Poly catcher Kyle Blumenthal had many superstitions, said Jimmy Van Ostrand, senior first baseman for the Cal Poly baseball team.

“Everything he did, he had to cancel,” Van Ostrand said. “If he knocked over a bat, he would have to pick it up and knock it over again.”

Baseball is a game of superstition, Cal Poly coach Larry Lee said.

“If they do something once and follow it up with a good game, they link it to that,” he said.

There are many famous curses in baseball. The “Curse of the Bambino” is the most well-known of all curses. According to answers.com, when the Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth’s contract to the New York Yankees, he ruined any winning streak they had. The Boston Red Sox only went to four World Series between the curse and 2004. They lost every World Series in a Game Seven; that is until 2004, when the Red Sox topped the St. Louis Cardinals for their first pennant since 1918. The Yankees won 26 World Series after acquiring Ruth.

Some players have superstitions that most would find a little unusual. Pitcher Turk Wendell brushes his teeth and chews black licorice between every inning, and Wade Boggs only ate chicken on game days, according to factmonster.com.

“Some players go a whole season without washing their clothes,” Lee said. “Some pitchers have to walk up the back of the mound before they pitch.”

“If players eat something and play well,” Van Ostrand said. “They will eat it again.”

It’s bad luck to have a bat against the dugout, said Jimmy Gardiner, senior infielder for the Cal Poly baseball team. “If I see one leaning up against it, I have to kick it down,” he said.

Van Ostrand says he always rubs Adam Buschini’s hair.

“It’s red, and I always do it,” he said.

“Some of this is superstition and some is just routine,” Van Ostrand said.

Numerous players on the Cal Poly team refused to talk about their superstitions claiming, “they won’t work!”

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