Baseball is a sport steeped in tradition and superstition, with players and fans alike often adhering to peculiar rituals and beliefs. These traditions and superstitions can range from the charmingly quirky to the outright bizarre. Here are seven of the most unique and quirky baseball traditions and superstitions from around the world.
1. The Curse of the Bambino
One of the most famous baseball superstitions, the Curse of the Bambino, haunted the Boston Red Sox for 86 years. It began after the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth, known as “The Bambino,” to the New York Yankees, after which the Red Sox experienced an extended World Series drought.
2. Rally Caps
A common sight in both amateur and professional baseball, the rally cap is a superstition where players and fans turn their caps inside out or wear them in a quirky manner to encourage a late-game comeback.
3. The Curse of the Billy Goat
The Chicago Cubs were said to be under the Curse of the Billy Goat from 1945 to 2016. It began when a tavern owner supposedly cursed the team after his pet goat was ejected from Wrigley Field during the World Series.
4. Jumping Over the Baseline
Many baseball players, including superstars like Ken Griffey Jr., have been known to avoid stepping on the baseline when taking the field. This superstition is believed to bring good luck or avoid bad luck.
5. The Lucky Loogie
In Japan, spitting for luck is a tradition for some players. The ritual involves spitting into one’s own hands before batting for good luck. This quirky superstition is unique to Japanese baseball culture.
6. The Legendary Mothball Necklace
In the Dominican Republic, some players wear a mothball necklace believing it will ward off injuries. This unusual tradition is rooted in local folklore and is unique to Dominican baseball culture.
7. Not Talking About a No-Hitter
In baseball culture worldwide, it’s considered bad luck to mention a no-hitter while it’s in progress. Players and fans often go to great lengths to avoid jinxing the pitcher’s chance at this rare feat.
These quirky traditions and superstitions showcase the rich cultural diversity and the deep-rooted beliefs that permeate the world of baseball. They add an extra layer of charm and intrigue to the game, making it not just a sport, but a tapestry of stories and practices passed down through generations.