Something about the game of baseball is truly magical. Big crowds, big talent, excitement in the air that can be felt both in the stadium and over the airwaves. Naturally, where there’s magic, there are tricks to keep it going.
From little league to the majors, baseball is one of the most superstitious of all of the sports. Even the most talented of baseball players could use a little luck every so often, and now that we’re on the road to the World Series, you know that tensions are high and good luck rituals are in full swing!
Scroll down to see the 13 baseball superstitions and rituals that made it to my list and please share your favorites in the comments below!
1. Never step on the foul line.
I’m thinking this is the same idea behind “step on a crack, you’ll break your mother’s back.”
2. Always step on the foul line.
Only a handful of players are brave enough to do this, most likely to debunk the superstition in #1, but they end up creating a superstitious ritual of their own.
3. Don’t talk about a no-hitter, don’t talk to a no-hitter, don’t even look at a no-hitter.
If you acknowledge it, you might jinx it, and you don’t want to be held responsible for that!
4. Leave the pitcher alone in the dugout during a start.
You see it all the time: other players socializing while the starting pitcher sits alone at the end of the dugout. It’s not that he’s anti-social; he just needs to get in the zone.
5. Don’t step on the pitcher’s mound if you’re a position player.
It’s his sacred space.
6. Not shaving on game days.
This is a common practice with pitchers throughout the season, and as we saw in 2013 when the Boston Red Sox™ were on their way to winning the World Series®, the “playoff beard” definitely serves as a unifying force between players and fans alike.
7. Refusing to wash hats, helmets, or uniforms during a winning streak.
Stinky? Yes. Gross? Most definitely. But, I prefer the stench of victory over a fresh loss.
8. Spitting on your hand before picking up the bat.
One of the best designated hitters of all time, David Ortiz, is known for the “spit and hand clap” ritual every time he’s at bat for the Boston Red Sox™ and look where it got him!
9. Using the same bat during a hot streak.
If you’re hitting well with a certain bat, it must be the bat. Kissing their bats, giving them names and etching symbols on them are also common. Some players go so far as to sleep with their lucky bats!
10. Giving credit to “The Man Upstairs” after a home run.
A home run is an amazing feat for sure, and many players thank God when they get one by kissing their religious necklace, making the sign of the cross or pointing skyward.
11. Wearing a lucky item.
Whether it’s old, beat-up batting gloves, a favorite undershirt, or the same athletic cup from high school like Mark McGuire did during his 16 seasons in the major leagues, keeping a lucky item close never hurts.
12. Wearing the rally cap.
If your team is a few runs behind and it’s late in the game, fans and players alike will wear their hats inside out and backwards or in other ridiculous ways to try to turn the game around.
13. Singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch.
The unofficial anthem of North American baseball, every baseball player and fan has a soft spot in their heart for this ritual.
Superstitions and rituals in baseball may not actually conjure good luck, but they give the players the notion that they’re in control of their destiny, which gives them the confidence to play their best.
Have you seen any of these or other superstitions in action when you’re root, root, rooting for your home team? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below! And, if you’d like to sport your team spirit in unique ways, don’t miss all of the MLB® collectibles, jewelry, apparel and more available at The Bradford Exchange Online. Who knows, something you discover might even become a good luck charm!
Thanks for reading and please share this post with your baseball buddies!13 Baseball Rituals and Superstitions by Beth Simon