Superstitions are as much a part of Major League Baseball as the hit-and-run. In a game of streaks, they almost have to be.
Whether a superstition or ritual is to avoid going into a slump, to break out of a slump or to keep a hot streak alive, players come up with the most fascinating ideas, believing they will impact their game.
While some superstitions have been around as long as baseball itself, there are many players who are so "out there" with their actions that no one would dare mimic them. Those are the ones we as fans love the most.
While I did my best to find a superstitious player from each team, in some cases the actions occurred before they went to the team or after they had moved on. In either case, they played for the team at some point.
Here is every team's most superstitious player ever.
Steve Finley didn't need steroids to get into Major League Baseball's prestigious 300-300 club—all he needed were minerals.
Finley was first introduced to the minerals by Diamondbacks teammate Craig Counsell while he was in the desert from 1999-2004. The minerals were supposed to ward off slumps, injuries and even "evil spirits."
As crazy as that sounds, when Finley and new teammate Darin Erstad first used the minerals with the Angels in 2005, the slugger immediately went on a hot streak, while Erstad somehow remained injury-free.
Whether it was for superstitious reasons before games or it was just an excuse to warm up some baseball groupies, Rico Carty's odd ritual apparently worked.
Carty would always float five candles in the toilet and bathtub of his hotel room before a game. His reasoning? It would help him produce a five-hit game.
While it sounds like the first thing that popped into his head after getting busted by teammates, Carty's numbers can't be argued. He ended his career with a .299 average, 204 homers and 890 RBI, along with a batting title in 1970.
Glenn Davis' superstition was simple yet somewhat disgusting.
As soon as the slugger would go on a hot streak, he would save his chewing gum by planting it under the bill of his hat. If Davis' hot streak lasted for two weeks, the same piece of chewing gum would accompany him during every game. He would toss it once the streak was over.
Davis managed 190 home runs during his 10-year career, including six seasons of 20 or more, so I guess the strategy worked for him.
One of the most superstitious players of all time, Hall of Famer Wade Boggs needed that routine before taking the field for a game.
The process began with Boggs waking up at the same time every morning. He would then eat chicken before each game—which you'd think he'd get sick of over a 20-year career. To top it off, the third baseman would take the same path from his position to the dugout between each inning.
Boggs would also take exactly 150 ground balls during each practice.
Multiple teams were forced to suffer through Nomar Garciaparra's annoying habit of adjusting his batting gloves between each pitch—a ritual he began as a tot while being forced to wear his older brother's gloves, which apparently were too big.
These weren't quick adjustments either—he would unhook and hook them what seemed like dozens of times between each pitch.
It worked during the early part of his career, as he won a couple of batting titles, but by the time he got to the Chicago Cubs, his poor performance on the field only made the ritual more annoying.
Steve Lyons was a very eccentric baseball player, so much so that it earned him the nickname "Psycho" during his career.
Lyons was famous for playing games of tic-tac-toe and hangman while playing in the infield—with his cleats. He also hated getting dirt on his uniform.
The latter superstition led to a famous display after he slid into first base following a bunt attempt. Lyons stood up, dropped his pants and brushed himself off—in front of 15,000 stunned spectators.
Baseball is a game of habits, some good and some bad. One habit nearly all players share is an oral fixation during games, whether it be chewing tobacco, sunflower seeds or gum.
Greg Swindell, however, opted for a fingernail.
The southpaw would bite off a fingernail before each game he pitched and kept it in his mouth during his entire outing. Maybe it was good luck, but it was definitely bad hygiene.
I hate to call people weird, but Kevin Rhomberg was weird.
Rhomberg played only 41 games in Major League Baseball, yet he holds the record for most players touched throughout his career.
If he was tagged out, he'd have to touch the guy who tagged him before going back to the dugout. Catchers would use this to get in Rhomberg's head while he was at the plate, while teammates would touch him just so they could watch as he chased the guy down to touch him back.
Jason Giambi has always been known for his various superstitions. He even grew out that abominable Fu Manchu with the Colorado Rockies to help get out of a slump.
As hard as it was to look at Giambi with that display of facial hair, I would take that over seeing the burly slugger in a gold thong any day of the week.
I don't know what's more disturbing—the image of Giambi in a thong or the fact that he apparently shared it with any of his Yankees teammates who needed to get out of a slump.
When a player has a screw loose in his head in today's Major League Baseball, he is immediately compared to Mark Fidrych. That ought to tell you something.
Fidrych and his "superstitions" made him appear more like a head case than anything else. From his peculiar windup to watching him talk to the ball and himself on the mound, Fidrych was nothing short of entertaining.
His most glaring "issue" was when he'd get on his hands and knees on the mound—either filling it with dirt or pulling the rubber out. He was a very interesting fella, to say the least.
Back when I was a smart-assed 16-year-old hockey player, I'd splash a tinkle on the guy next to me in the showers every now and then to get some quick laughs. Yeah, I was that guy.
One thing I've never done, however, is intentionally urinate on myself.
Moises Alou used to "spray and pray" all over himself—well, generally only on his hands—since it apparently toughens up the skin. I'm not going to argue whether it does or doesn't, but I will say it's pretty sick either way.
I can't lie. I was a huge Saved by the Bell fan growing up, but I'm not about to sport a T-shirt with Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski plastered on the front of it (at least not outside the comfort of my own home).
Charlie Kerfeld was known around Houston for his eccentric personality, most often expressed with the crazy outfits he'd wear to the ballpark.
Still, he is remembered most by Astros fans for wearing a Jetsons shirt underneath his jersey for good luck, apparently because the dog's name was "Astro."
Seriously, does this look like a guy you'd want to mess with? I can't even make eye contact with him in this picture for more than three seconds without looking away.
Al Hrabosky was a crazy dude. That's why they called him "The Mad Hungarian."
When Hrabosky was on the mound, he had the tendency to turn his back to the batter, take a couple steps toward second base, rub the ball maniacally and then take a deep breath and pound the ball into his glove. After that routine, he'd stare directly into the batter's eyes and march to the mound. This was between every pitch.
Is it surprising that it started a few brawls?
Every player in Major League Baseball has that "thing"—even the soft-spoken, seemingly normal Vladimir Guerrero.
Guerrero has never been able to bring himself to wear a clean helmet. He likes it dirty, I guess.
When they're given new helmets at the beginning of every season, Guerrero throws and rubs it on the ground, scuffs it up and even lets teammates spit on it.
I don't know what it is about Adrian Beltre, but he absolutely hates when anyone touches his head. Some baseball players aren't even that defensive over their girlfriends or even their wives!
It's safe to say that no one other than Adrian himself can rub his head for good luck. Although you can see him swatting J.D. Drew away in this video, I couldn't find the clip of when he actually got into a dugout fight with a teammate over it.
Nyjer Morgan has been a member of the Milwaukee Brewers for a matter of months, but with the way he's adored by fans, you'd think he's been in Brew City for years.
Morgan has an alter ego known as "T-Plush," and he says it only comes out when he's playing well.
As a fan of the Brewers, Morgan can be Rosie O'Donnell for all I care if it helps him get on base in front of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder!
I would consider Luis "El Tiante" Tiant's odd pitching windup more of a ritual than a superstition, but either way it further proves the routine aspect that comforts many baseball players.
With ball in hand inside his glove, Tiant would come set at the chest, then come set near his belly button, then down to the waist and then to his belt before finally twisting until his body was almost directly facing second base.
Tiant was basically the pitching version of Mike Hargrove.
It's no secret that Turk Wendell took his superstitions to another level.
For one, Wendell insisted when he was given a new ball that the umpire roll it to him. If the ump would forget, he'd sooner take it off the chest or let it fly past him than catch it.
He would do a high jump across the foul line as if he were prepping for the Olympics, and he wouldn't start warming up until he received a wave back from the center fielder.
Wendell's oddest ritual while pitching was that he would brush his teeth between every inning. In hindsight, at least it led to some commercial opportunities!
Roger Clemens only spent six total seasons with the New York Yankees, but he picked up a superstition rather quickly after joining the historic franchise.
Before all of his starts at Yankee Stadium, Clemens would visit Babe Ruth's plaque in Monument Park. He would wipe his brow before placing his hand on the plaque for good luck.
Not that he's full of himself, but he also named his sons Koby, Kory, Kacy and Kody, with the "K" representing his tendency to garner strikeouts.
Connie Mack was a very superstitious manager, so much so that he used Louis Van Zelst as a human mascot of sorts for the Philadelphia Athletics during the early part of the 20th century.
Van Zelst—who was disfigured after a fall at a young age and had a humpback—confidently went to Mack in 1909 and told the manager he was good luck.
With Van Zelst as the bat boy, the team would rub his hump before games for good luck. The Athletics won the World Series in 1910, 1911 and 1913, while losing in the Fall Classic in 1914.
Van Zelst fell ill after the 1914 season and soon after passed away. The Athletics finished in last place for the next seven seasons.
Many people share a special bond with their mother, wife or even a dog. Richie Ashburn built that same relationship with his baseball bat.
Not only did the Hall of Famer take his bat to bed with him, but he actually wrapped his arms ever so tightly around it as he comfortably slept through the night.
I wasn't able to find whether or not he spooned with it or gave it a good night kiss.
The pre-batting ritual of the Pirates' Dick Stuart was a tad bit extreme.
"Dr. Strangeglove" would leave the on-deck circle carrying two bats before passing in between the catcher and the home plate umpire to get to the right side of the batter's box. After tapping the two barrels together, he would toss the second bat away and step into the box.
As if that wasn't strange enough, Stuart would finish by tearing off a piece of chewing gum to toss on the middle of home plate before jacking the ball out of the park or whiffing completely.
Believe it or not, before the Mets gave him millions in what turned out to be charity money, and even before his better days with the Pirates, Oliver Perez spent two seasons with the San Diego Padres.
It was in San Diego that the world first had to witness Oliver Perez's annoying "bunny hop" over the foul line.
Many pitchers choose to avoid stepping on the line, while some even choose to actually jump over it, but Perez took it to an extreme that not even Turk Wendell could beat.
Rumor has it he accidentally stepped on the line late during the 2007 season while with the Mets.
John McGraw is another old-school manager with moderate superstitious beliefs.
As the story goes, Charlie Faust was too uneducated and "slow" to run the family farm. While visiting the county fair in 1911, a fortune teller informed Faust that he would pitch for and lead the New York Giants to the pennant.
Although it took a while for Faust to convince McGraw to let him join the team, he was eventually brought on as a mascot. From the day Faust introduced himself to McGraw, the Giants went 39-9 over the remainder of the season. Even more ridiculous, the Giants went an insane 35-2 with Faust in uniform.
While the fortune teller was right that the Giants would win the pennant, they would lose to the Athletics in the World Series. Of course, Louis Van Zelst was the A's mascot at the time.
With Faust back at the beginning of the 1912 season, the Giants got off to a 54-11 start before McGraw sent the mascot back home. He would never return.
While Mike Hargrove never played for the Seattle Mariners, he did spend some time as their manager and this obnoxious pre-at-bat ritual absolutely needed to make the list.
While getting ready for each pitch, Hargrove would take a few steps up the first-base line and then take some practice cuts before beginning the bizarre sequence seen in this video clip.
I wonder if this tactic played a role in him yearly being toward the top of the league in walks and on-base percentage.
Stan Musial is one of the greatest players in the history of Major League Baseball. The three-time NL MVP who owns seven batting titles worked hard and played even harder.
How did he get all of his competitive energy, you might ask? Every morning, the slugger would feast on an egg with two pancakes, followed by another egg. While that may not seem like the ideal "Atkins" breakfast these days, it most definitely worked for Musial.
Although the eccentric Dirk Hayhurst was just released from the Tampa Bay Rays' Triple-A affiliate, and this is less of a superstition and more of an oddity, this article seemed like a good chance to get the "Garfoose" a mention (for those who've never heard of it), and the Rays don't have a very superstitious history.
The Garfoose is a "fire-breathing, magically empowered, indestructible, WiFi enabled, half giraffe-half moose" created by Hayhurst. He now puts the Garfoose next to his signature when signing books, baseballs and baseball cards.
Hayhurst came up with the idea in support of special needs children, with whom his wife works with on a daily basis.
You can check out more on the Garfoose here.
John Wetteland enjoyed a solid 12-year career where he compiled a 2.93 ERA and 330 saves. He also enjoyed partaking in the age-old tradition of never washing your ball cap.
Some players will get a new hat every few games depending on how much they sweat. For Wetteland, however, the more the merrier.
By the end of the season, Wetteland's hat looked less like a ball cap and more like a salt-encrusted helmet.
While a majority of people stay away from unlucky No. 13, catcher Buck Martinez went against the grain to spice up his career when he signed with the Blue Jays in 1981.
However, Martinez had a batting average of just .222 in six seasons with the Jays before having his career ended by getting run over at home plate, dislocating his ankle.
He donned No. 13 again when he became the Jays skipper in 2001 but went 100-115 before getting the can midway through his second season.
Pedro Martinez played for the Montreal Expos from 1994-97, yet his greatest superstition didn't come to light until he was pitching for the Red Sox.
Nelson de la Rosa was a fellow Dominican who grew to the height of 54 centimeters, which made him one of the shortest men in the world. After meeting Martinez through a mutual friend, the two bonded, and he quickly became the Red Sox's "unofficial" good luck charm.
The Red Sox would win the World Series in 2004, after which Martinez and de la Rosa rode together in the victory parade.
It didn't end well, as de la Rosa was mad Martinez left town for the Mets and the pitcher referred to him as "just a trick." Sadly, de la Rosa would die of heart failure two years later.
Jeffrey Beckmann is a MLB Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow Jeffrey on his new Twitter account for all of his latest work. You can also hear him each Friday at 1 pm EST on B/R Baseball Roundtable.