The sport of baseball is notorious for it’s superstitious competitors, whether it’s Nomar’s toe tap, the Panda’s lengthy pre-pitch charade, or Turk Wendell’s ridiculous dugout antics, one thing is for sure, the routine stays the same. I bring this blog to you because routines and superstitions are taken quite seriously in the world of competition. Personally I perform tasks much better when they are laid out for me. At Florida Tech our practices are pretty structured to the point where I know (for the most part) what we will be doing as a whole on any given day, especially in season. I imagine this is pretty standard across the world of collegiate sports and that is without coincidence. Team routines are important just as personal ones are too. As a pitcher I follow a routine every week. I have 6 days to prepare for each start and I go about it the exact same way every week. If we are traveling that weekend I pack EVERYTHING baseball related, I take two bags, one is for baseball garments and equipment and the other is full of hotel accommodations (dress clothes, toothpaste, deodorant, Ipod,….you get it). For my starts I bring a beach towel that occupies the spot on the bench in which I will be sitting, I listen to the same playlist for my stretching escapades, and on the night before, a group of us try to treat ourselves to a nice dinner. If we are home that particular weekend I grab some cracker barrel before our noon game time, and I sit in the corner of the dugout, and in the corner you will find my beloved beach towel and usually a unhealthy amount of spit…gross it may be BUT it happens every time.
A portion of our guys think its bad luck to have superstitions (get it?) while a few guys wear double socks, don’t shave, or refuse to wash their sliders. Some withhold the chewing of seeds or gum in the batters box. Routines and superstitions are endless in the realm of baseball. Every team has a radical superstitious practitioner and deep down we all love it.
In short… if aliens were to come down and watch the a game of baseball transpire before their eyes they would probably think we were out of our minds. The game we play has so many ins and outs that go unspoken to the general public and all these quirky gimmicks are partly why we watch and play. Baseball has a lot more to offer than what the average fan may be aware of, playing the game is our favorite part…but the superstitions are fun for everybody.