Baseball's 50 Weirdest All-Time Superstitions

Robert KnapelCorrespondent IMay 11, 2012

Baseball's 50 Weirdest All-Time Superstitions

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    Baseball players and managers are some of the most superstitious athletes in all of sports. If a player or a team gets on a hot streak, then baseball players are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that it continues.

    Some players had routines that they needed to follow before every single game or every start or else they just would not feel right.

    The superstitions followed by some MLB players are certainly things that many people would consider to be weird. However, no one is going to say anything if it helps a hitter keep his hitting streak alive.

Jason Giambi's Slump Buster

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    Whenever Jason Giambi is mired in a slump, he has an interesting superstition that he believes help him break out of it.

    Giambi puts on a gold thong whenever he is struggling. This is certainly one of the most interesting ways to try to break out of a slump.

Moises Alou Gets Tougher

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    If a baseball player does not wear batting gloves, then there is a chance that they will develop callouses on their hands.

    Moises Alou is known for peeing on his hands in an effort to make them tougher. The strategy certainly worked for Alou as he put up a .303 career batting average and he hit 332 home runs.

Mark Teixeira Wears Two Different Socks

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    Mark Teixeira has recently developed a new superstition. It happened when one of CC Sabathia's socks accidentally ended up in his locker.

    Teixeira unknowingly put on one sock with the number 25 on it, his number, and another sock with the number 52 on it, Sabathia's number. He didn't notice until the game had already started, and Teixeira had one of the better games of his career.

    Following Teixeira's two home-run, six RBI performance, he decided that he was going to wear the two different socks in future games.

R.A. Dickey Names His Bats

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    Hitters often like to get close to their bats, but occasionally pitchers get in on the fun as well. New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey takes his choice of bats very seriously.

    Dickey names each one of his bats, and they all have very creative monikers. One of his bats is named Orchrist the Goblin Cleaver, and he calls another Hrunting.

Jim Leyland's Favorite Boxers

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    It is not just players that have interesting superstitions, but also managers. Detroit Tigers' manager Jim Leyland wanted to make sure that his team kept on winning in 2011.

    When the team began a winning streak, Leyland wore the same pair of boxers to the ballpark the next day. He would not wash them, and he continued to wear them until the Tigers' winning streak ended. 

Kevin Towers Can't Bear to Watch Trevor Hoffman

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    Trevor Hoffman saved 552 games during his 16 years with the San Diego Padres, and the team's general manager Kevin Towers saw none of them.

    Every time that Hoffman would come onto the mound in a save situation, Towers would walk away from his suite and wait for the game to finish. The strategy obviously worked well as Hoffman is ranked second in MLB history with 601 career saves.

Matt Garza Loves Popeye's Chicken

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    Before each start that he makes, Matt Garza needs to have a specific meal. He goes to Popeye's chicken every day that he is scheduled to start.

    Garza's superstition has worked out well for him so far in his career as he has emerged as one of the better pitchers in baseball.

Ryan Dempster's Favorite Restaurant

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    Since Ryan Dempster joined the Chicago Cubs in 2002, he has had a superstition about where he eats before every home game.

    Dempster goes to the same Italian restaurant the night before every start that he makes at Wrigley Field. This superstition has helped Dempster post a 3.75 ERA at Wrigley Field, which is much lower than his career 4.36 ERA.

Tim Lincecum's Cap

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    Tim Lincecum was able to emerge as one of the best pitchers in baseball through his first five seasons in the major leagues.

    One of the reasons for Lincecum's success could be that he wears the same cap every time that he is on the mound.

Wade Boggs Has the Same Pregame Meal

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    Wade Boggs is a Hall of Fame player, and he had a number of quirks that were helpful to his success in the majors.

    Boggs would eat the same meal before every single game. He would sit down to a plate of fried chicken and then go out and play.

Wade Boggs Is Right on Time

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    Most people get up at the same time every morning. Others will do other things at the same time if it fits into their routine.

    Wade Boggs was one of these people when it came to when he took batting practice. Any time that he played in a night game, Boggs would take batting practice at 5:17.

Wade Boggs' Fielding Practice

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    Batting practice is not the only time that Wade Boggs was exact with what he would be doing. He also did things a specific way when he was in the field.

    Boggs would take 150 grounders, no more and no less, during warmups. It's hard to argue with a two-time Gold Glover's routine.

Wade Boggs Is Living the Life

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    Each time that Wade Boggs would come to the plate, he would take his bat and write the Hebrew word chai, which means life, in the batter's box.

    This superstition was obviously helpful to Boggs as he batted .328 during his career in the majors.

Kevin Rhomberg Plays Tag

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    Kevin Rhomberg had one of the funnier superstitions to see. He was only in the major leagues for three seasons with the Cleveland Indians in the 1980s and was fun to watch.

    Every time that Rhomberg got tagged while on the basepaths, he would immediately turn around and touch the person that tagged him. There is a good chance that Rhomberg was the tag champion at his elementary school when he was growing up.

Ken Griffey, Jr. Sells His Car

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    Most people would love to drive a Mercedes-Benz. Ken Griffey, Jr. bought himself one, but something just did not seem right to him.

    Griffey, Jr. eventually sold the car for the sole reason that he did not believe that it had any hits in it.

Turk Wendell's Got Ups

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    Get ready to see a lot of Turk Wendell in this slideshow as he was one of the most superstitious players in all of baseball.

    Most pitchers avoid stepping on the foul line when they go on or come off of the field. Wendell made sure that he never touched it by emphatically jumping over it. He would also clear the dirt on his jump.

Turk Wendell Has a Sweet Tooth

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    Whenever Turk Wendell would go out to the mound, he would have black licorice in his mouth. He was also very specific about how many pieces he would have.

    Wendell would chew on four pieces of black licorice during each inning that he went to pitching.

Turk Wendell Keeps His Teeth Clean

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    It is clear that Turk Wendell would pay attention to his dentist. Even though Wendell would eat sweets while on the mound, he would always brush his teeth.

    In between innings Wendell would spit out the licorice that he was chewing on, brush his teeth and then grab four new pieces of licorice before heading out the mound.

Turk Wendell Loves the Number Nine

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    Some players have favorite numbers, and they will make sure that they can wear it on their jersey. Other players take it a bit further than that.

    Wendell wore the number 99 on his jersey when he was with the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and the Colorado Rockies. He also signed a contract in 2000 that was for $9,999,999.99

Turk Wendell's Approach to Every Batter

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    It should be clear from that last few slides that Turk Wendell would do things that were slightly out of the ordinary.

    Whenever he faced a batter, Wendell would have the same response regardless of the outcome. He would always pick up the rosin bag and throw it down when the next hitter was on his way to the plate.

Turk Wendell's Necklace

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    Among all of the other things that Turk Wendell did, he also made an interesting fashion choice when he was with the New York Mets.

    Wendell would wear a necklace that was made out of the teeth of hunted animals as a good luck charm whenever he was on the mound.

Don Robinson Starts from the Ground

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    Pitcher Don Robinson did not want to have anyone throw him the ball whenever he began an inning.

    He needed to pick the ball up off of the ground. If an umpire did throw a ball to Robinson, he would not catch it. He would wait till it stopped moving and then pick it up.

Nomar Garciaparra's Approach at the Plate

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    Whenever Nomar Garciaparra would step to the plate, the opposing pitcher knew it would be a while before he could throw his first pitch.

    Garciaparra would go through a very detailed routine whenever he stepped into the batter's box.

Mark Fidrych Grooms the Mound

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    Mark Fidrych was known for being quite a character during his career in the major leagues.

    One thing that no one will forget about him is that he used to go out to the mound and play around like a kid in a sandbox.

Al Hrabosky Starring as the Mad Hungarian

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    Al Hrabosky's antics on the mound made him a fan favorite and also contributed to his seemingly larger-than-life persona.

    He would turn away from the batter and then walk towards second base. After taking a deep breath and pounding the ball into his glove, Hrabosky would return to the mound and stare down the hitter before throwing his pitch.

Craig Biggio's Batting Helmet

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    Whenever Craig Biggio came to the plate, his batting helmet was covered in pine tar. It was one of the things that help set Biggio apart.

    This superstition was one that stuck with Biggio throughout his impressive career in the major leagues.

Vladimir Guerrero's Batting Helmet

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    Craig Biggio is not the only player that comes to the plate with an excessive amount of pine tar smothered on his batting helmet.

    Vladimir Guerrero is also known for having his batting helmet covered in pine tar.

Nyjer Morgan Rocks the Socks

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    It is no surprise that Nyjer Morgan, aka Tony Plush, has some quirky superstitions that he likes to follow. He is one of the more interesting players in the game.

    Nyjer Morgan decided that blue argyle socks could help the Milwaukee Brewers come out of a funk, and once he discovered that it worked, he wore them under his regular socks during games.

Max Scherzer Keeps Some Secrets

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    A lot of baseball players superstitions are well-known. However, there are guys with unique routines that we do not know about.

    One of those players is Max Scherzer. Part of his superstition is not letting anyone know what his superstitions are.

Derek Holland's Big Meal

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    There are a number of pitchers that eat a certain meal before they go out on the mound, but none can live up to what Derek Holland eats.

    The night before he is scheduled to make a start, Holland takes a trip to Wendy's and orders 30 dollars worth of food.

Joe DiMaggio's Trip to Center Field

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    Joltin' Joe DiMaggio was able to put on a show whenever he was at the plate and in the field. His most memorable superstition comes from when he would go out to center field.

    Every time that DiMaggio ran from the dugout to his spot in center field, he would make sure that he touched second base along the way.

Mark McGwire's Favorite Cup

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    Mark McGwire did a number of questionable things during his career, and one of his superstitions needs to be included on that list.

    Throughout his career, McGwire wore the same protective cup that he did in high school. Keep in mind that McGwire played in the majors for 16 years.

David Ortiz's Spitshow

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    If a baseball player wants to spit, he has a lot of grass around him that he can use. David Ortiz has a different solution, though.

    Ortiz spits on his batting gloves prior to every at-bat. You have to wonder if any of his teammates will shake his hands when he has his gloves on.

Steve Finley's Magic Miracles

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    Some of Steve Finley's success may be attributed to a pouch of minerals that he was introduced to by teammate Craig Counsell.

    The minerals are supposed to protect the person who wears them from bad external energy. They kept enough bad energy away from Finley during his career for him to join the 300 home-run, 300 stolen-base club.

Rico Carty's Road Ritual

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    During his 15-year career in the major leagues, Rico Carty had a .299 batting average. He was a solid player, and he had some superstitions.

    Once when Carty was on a road trip, he tried something to help him go 5-for-5. He lit five candles in the bathtub, sink and toilet of his hotel room.

Roger Clemens Takes a Trip to Monument Park

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    Roger Clemens got a bit of extra help during his career as he would take a trip to Monument Park before every home game that he pitched for the Yankees.

    He would go and touch the Babe Ruth plaque for good luck. This ritual was very important to Clemens during his career, and he would even go celebrate by it.

Richie Ashburn Gets a Good Night's Rest

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    A bat is one of the most important tools that baseball players has, and they like to try to get in tune with their bats.

    Richie Ashburn took this to a whole different level during his career. He would often sleep with his bat in the hopes that it would help him have a good day at the plate.

Jim Palmer's Breakfast of Champions

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    Jim Palmer had a Hall of Fame career during his 19 years in the major leagues, and he picked up 268 wins along the way.

    The morning of each of Palmer's start he would have the same meal. He would eat a stack of pancakes on the day of each start.

Dick Stuart Throws out His Gum

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    Dick Stuart must have bought a lot of packs of gum during his major league career because of his superstition.

    Stuart would walk up to the plate with a piece of gum in his mouth. He would then take it out and throw it across the plate before he would be ready to face the first pitch.

Sherm Lollar Tries to Get Lucky

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    Sherm Lollar was selected to play in seven All-Star Games during his career in the major leagues, and luck may have had something to do with it.

    Lollar was known for keeping four-leaf clovers in his locker with the hopes that they would give him some good vibes. 

Lenny Dykstra Gets New Gloves

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    Hitters certainly don't like making outs, even though it happens more than 70 percent of the time in baseball. When they do get out, they want to find something to blame it on.

    Lenny Dykstra chose to blame his batting gloves. He would go and get a new pair of batting gloves every time that he made an out.

Charlie Kerfeld Loves the Jetsons

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    The fact that Charlie Kerfeld insisted that he receive 37 boxes of orange Jell-O when he signed his contract should say everything that needs to be said about him.

    Kerfeld was a fan of the Jetsons, and he had a favorite t-shirt. He would wear that Jetsons t-shirt under his uniform when he was on the mound.

Connie Hires Louis Van Zelst as a Good Luck Charm

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    Connie Mack is a legendary manager, and no one can question the success that he had in the big leagues.

    Apparently he felt that his teams needed a good luck charm at one point. All of the members of the Philadelphia Athletics would rub Louis Van Zelst's hump in hopes of getting good luck after he was hired as the team's bat boy.

Oliver Perez Jumps over the Foul Line

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    After the New York Mets gave Oliver Perez a huge contract, the most athletic ability they saw from him was not while he was on the mound, but when he was coming back to the dugout.

    Perez had a habit of jumping very high over the foul line as he was heading back to the dugout.

Mike Hargrove's Batting Routine

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    It is not rare for hitters to have a long routine before they step into the batters' box. What is rare is for their routine to last as long as Mike Hargrove's did.

    He earned the nickname "The Human Rain Delay" because he would take so long to get ready once he came to the plate.

Stan Musial Enjoys Breakfast

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    A hearty breakfast is a good way to start any day off on the right foot. Stan Musial certainly believed in that.

    Whenever it was a game day, Musial would have the same breakfast. He would eat an egg and then two pancakes, and then he followed that up with one last egg.

John Wetteland Wears One Cap a Year

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    John Wetteland would wear one cap and one cap only during the season. No matter how sweat-stained and faded it would get, he would not give it up.

    When the New York Yankees made the World Series in 1996, Wetteland would not wear one of the new caps, and he had the World Series logo sown onto the cap that he wore all season.

Pedro Martinez Has His Own Good Luck Charm

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    Pedro Martinez was one of the best pitchers of his generation, but even he thought that he and the Boston Red Sox could use a good luck charm.

    Martinez brought Nelson De La Rosa, an actor who stood 2'4" tall, into the Red Sox's clubhouse on their run to the World Series in 2004.

"Pebbly" Jack Glasscock Earns His Nickname

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    In baseball's early days, the teams did not play on well manicured fields that were kept in perfect shape. They had to deal with things such as pebbles in the field of play.

    Jack Glasscock, one of the top shortstops of the 19th century, couldn't stand the bad bounces that ball would take off of the pebbles. He would pick up the pebbles and put them in his uniform pocket. This is something that none of the other players would do.

Hiroshi Yamauchi Has Never Seen the Team That He Owns Play

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    Hiroshi Yamauchi owns a majority stake in the Seattle Mariners since Nintendo Corp. bought the team. However, Yamauchi has never seen the Mariners play in person. He does watch his team on television.

    The excuse could be made that because Yamauchi lives in Japan that he does not want to fly over to see a game. This would make sense, but the Mariners have gone to Japan while he has been owner, and he skipped those games as well.