In baseball superstitions are life, they are not a thing to joke about. All across this great land ballplayers have superstitions; these superstitions help raise batting averages, decrease ERA's and help hitters bust out of slumps. So let's take a look at 10 of the strangest superstitions in baseball history-
Jason Giambi- Magical Stache’ and Thongs of Wonder
Jason Giambi could be one of the most prominent hair farmer’s in baseball… but not because he rocks a beard. Immediately after the slumping first baseman grew a glorious mustache during the 2008 season with the Yanks, his batting average increased nearly 80 points and, naturally, he didn’t want to shave that puppy off. This, of course, sparked a whole craze around Giambi’s magical mustache, complete with a mustache giveaway night at Yankee Stadium and the unwavering support of the American Mustache Institute.
Giambi is also known for another slump busting accessory—he is famed for wearing a gold thong when he was in a hit drought. Rumor has it that during Giambi’s career with the Yankees, teammates Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon slipped on the golden panties for size—and for good luck.
Nomar Garciaparra- Batting Glove Foreplay
An entire generation of little league players began to emulate Garciaparra’s pre at-bat routine, I know I did. Garciaparra would strap and un-strap his batting gloves numerous times before every pitch that was thrown to him.
Moisés Alou – Pee hands
While some players—we’re looking at you Namah’— like to do obsessive and time consuming rituals before getting into the box. Moises Alou did no such thing. Moises Alou never wore batting gloves throughout his entire 18 year career. This made him go to drastic measure to strengthen up his hands and calluses. Alou would pee on his hands before every game to toughen his hands up and prevent blisters…
Ronald Reagan and the Case of Silent Pitchers
Ronald Reagan was a radio announcer in Iowa after finishing up college, he firmly believed in the known deeply rooted superstition across baseball in America; ‘You don’t talk to or about a pitcher throwing a no-hitter.’ Most current broadcasters still follow this rule… most. The team over at ESPN doesn’t seem to follow this rule.
The Curse of Colonel Sanders
This superstition/curse comes from over the Pacific in Japan. This is where a curse is said to have been placed on the Hanshin Tigers by the Founder of KFC himself, Colonel Sanders. It is said that the chicken king of the world placed this curse on the team after the fans celebrated after winning the 1985 Japan Championship by stealing a statue in front of a KFC and tossing it into a river. The lost statue was found in 2009 but the team has yet to win a Championship since 1985.
Justin Verlander’s- Taco Bell Addiction
This is one superstition that makes me feel good about myself, if Verlander eats it I can eat it. Apparently, Justin will have taco bell the night before every game he pitches. He told Conan O’brien in 2012 that he gets the same thing everytime. “Three crunchy taco supremes, no tomato, a cheesy gordita crunch and a Mexican pizza, no tomato. Every time.” Here he is on conan:
Roger Clemens- Likes Discomfort
Part of Roger Clemens' pre-game routine included his trainer rubbing the "hottest possible" ointment on his boys… I don’t know why he did it.
Wily Mo Peña- Bat Love
Outfielder Wily Mo Peña's unique on-deck circle approach included biting, smelling, and kissing his bat… mmmm, maple.
Mark McGwire- Same Cup since High School
Mark McGwire may win for longest-running superstition. He wore the same protective cup as he did throughout his high school sports career during his time in the MLB… *insert steroid shrinkage joke*
The Cubs- Billy Goat
It is hard to have a baseball superstitions list without including the curse of the Billy Goat. The Cubs haven’t won a World Series in well over 100 years, many think this dry spell is because Billy Sianis and his pet goat were ejected from the World series game in 1945 by the Cubs owner; resulting in the curse of the club.
BONUS: Pedro Cerrano from Major League
Pedro would pray to the god’s to remove the fear from his bats so he could start hitting curveballs: