Very Superstitious!

Greetings PawSox Fan!

    Hope everyone is still basking in the glory of the 2013 World Series Champions Boston Red Sox!

    “When you believe in things that you don’t understand, Then you suffer, Superstition aint the Way!” Stevie Wonder Song.

   Superstitious: “A belief or a way of behaving that is based on fear of the unknown and faith in luck or magic . A belief that certain events or things will bring good or bad luck.”

    Are you superstitious? I will confess that I am. As an example, during the finals against  the Durham Bulls this past season, as I stood behind section 7, there were people who were changing seats, getting up to go to the bathroom or get something to eat. I was trying to get everyone to just stay in their spots until between innings then move as freely as they wanted. The Pannone family tried to assist but some of the fans didn’t listen and we  all know how it turned out.

    When watching a Red Sox game at home, if the other team scores a couple of runs, I immediately change the channel for a bit and when I switch back, for the most part, the Sox were able to stop the onslaught. When heading out to drive the Penske to play in another city,  it’s very important to have Team President Mike Tamburro say, “Safe Travels.”  When VP and Chief Finance Officer Matt White hands over the petty cash, he always wishes us a safe trip. Knock on wood, we have always been on time safely after those words from Mike and Matt.

       Last season we had just loaded the truck and I went to the office and saw Matt. Like always he wished us a safe trip. When I asked where Mike was he told us that Mike had already left. Whhhhhhhaaaaaattt? But he didn’t tell us Safe Travels!  Now what? After getting the truck loaded, we were driving south on Route 95 passing through Cranston. I was feeling uneasy about the trip. It’s about a 15 hour ride and I didn’t want the uneasy feeling for that long. I pulled out my phone, called Mike Tamburro. When Mike answered the phone I told him that we were heading to Louisville. Mike said, “Safe Travels!” AAAh, I no longer had that uneasy feeling and the whole trip was made without incident.

     I asked around staff to see if anyone would fess up about any type of ritual or superstition they would like to share. No one said a word except  broadcaster Jeff Levering. One of his rituals while playing college baseball was since he didn’t wear batting gloves, he didn’t like the way they felt and he felt like the bat was going to slip out, he would place both of his palms in the dirt and scoop it up and rub it on his hands and bat.

     Arent “Rally Caps” a type of ritual/superstition?

Rally II

rally I

rally III

Rally IIII

     Rally caps are a cool thing. Not wearing batting gloves is fine, rubbing dirt, rosin, pine tar even spit is fine. However when you take it to another level like Moises Alou who chooses not to wear batting gloves. Without wearing batting gloves, you can get callouses. Alou chooses to pee on his hands! Thats right, he literally urinates on his hands to make them tougher! I don’t know how many teammates would shake hands with him after the game.

Alou

       The 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox team grew beards that became somewhat of a superstition and of course fun. Many fans joined in letting their whiskers grow for the playoffs. Other sports teams and players have grown beards for the playoffs. Sox players Jonny Gomes and David Ross started growing their beards at the start of the 2013 season.

        Gomes and Ross had some rituals/superstitions of their own. Jonny Gomes, with things that come in two’s, like gloves, socks, shoes he always puts the right side on first. Always. He was quoted as saying that if he wakes up in the middle of the night because of an emergency, he has to put them on the right way. It’s hard to remember what Gomes looked like without the beard. Here you go! Could he be related to Justin Timberlake?

Gomes

       David Ross wears a sock with a flag on it and a sock with stars on it. However, the sock with the stars must always be worn on the right foot. He also looks a bit different without his beard.

Ross beard

    I wanted to learn more of about pro athletes rituals and/or superstitions to share with you. I searched the internet to see what info they had and found a whole lot of fun stuff. I did the work for you! We all know about Nomar Garciaparra and his rituals. He would walk up the dugout stairs sideways and once in the batters box, tug at his gloves, touch the bill of his helmet, tap his toes several times, re-fasten his batting gloves again, and now he was ready to swing. Nomar was like a human rain delay with the time he took to bat. When Nomar was here at McCoy, he spent some time with PawSox owner, the late Ben Mondor.

Nomar

      From my years with the PawSox there have been some players that had some rituals/superstitions. Some were a lucky necklace, a lucky shirt or even some lucky object they would stick in the uniform pocket or sock. One I do remember the most was Alejandro Machado. He had a hairy troll like looking guy that was about 5 inches tall. It would sit in his locker and he would tap the head of the troll. The troll even traveled on the road trip and took his place in the locker. There was never any items burned like Pedro Cerrano did with Joe Boo in the movie Major League but it was quite humorous. Also, if Machado broke a bat, he would wrap it in plastic and have a bat boy make sure that he threw it in the dumpster, and nobody had any idea why. Machado did make it to Boston for a bit and I’m sure the troll like guy was with him.

Machado

       The following are some of the rituals/superstitions from some pro athletes:

      When Jason Giambi finds himself slumping, he wears a golden thong! He said it works every time. Not sure I’ll ever look at him the same way again wondering if he’s wearing it.

Giambi

      Pitcher Don Robinson would always need to pick up the ball before starting to pitch the inning. He never let anyone throw him the ball before the inning. If an umpire threw him the ball he would let it go and then pick it up from the ground.

Don Robinson

      The Great One Wayne Gretzky had to get dressed the exact same way for every game. He needed to  do it exactly in the same order every time down to lacing up his skates. He then needed to rub baby powder all over the blade of his stick. Some of his teammates would laugh at times when the Great One would search frantically for baby powder around the locker room. He also would never get his haircut while on the road. During practice he would start by shooting the puck at the right side of the net. He would later drink a diet coke, then a glass of ice water and another diet coke. Always exactly in that order. He would also always dress his left side first.

gretzky

           Another hockey player Sidney Crosby adds a little more to the rituals/superstitions. He never speaks with his mother over the phone on game days. He did once before a game and suffered an injury. He has to tape his own stick and when he’s done, no one can touch it or he has to remove the tape and tape it all over again. On the road, he only uses the tape the hosting team provides, he never uses the Penquins tape on the road. While on the road, he eats at the same restaurant every time while in that city. While riding in a car or the bus when the vehicle crosses over a train track, Sid the Kid raises his feet and touches some glass.

Crosby

      Former Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland had his team on a winning streak in 2011 and wore the same boxers everyday….without washing them!

Leyland

      Mostly every sports fan knew about the rituals/superstitions of former Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs. He ate chicken before every game. His wife had 50 recipes for chicken. Also he would take exactly 150 ground balls during warm-up. No more no less, exactly 150. When playing at home he would take batting practice at exactly 5:17 and ran windsprints at exactly 7:17.  He made it to the Hall of Fame, so I guess he got it right!

Boggs HoF

         Pitcher Turk Wendell certainly is one of the best when it comes to rituals/superstitions. He never will step on the lines of the field. However, he just doesn’t step over them, he leaps over them!

Turk_Wendell_Leap 

     Also, Wendell always puts 4 pieces of black licorice in his mouth before he heads to the mound to pitch…before every inning!

Windell

    He then brushes his teeth between every inning.

wendell brushing

     Basketball legend Michael Jordan always wore his University of North Carolina shorts under his team shorts. He does this for every game.

Jordan

     Speaking of team shorts, former Boston Celtic Jason Terry sleeps in a pair of his opponents shorts the night before they play that team, He has a pair of shorts for every NBA team!

terry

     Tennis star Serena Williams is not without a ritual/superstition. She always brings her shower sandals to the court with her. She always bounces the ball five times before her first serve, and three times before her second. She also wears the same pair of socks throughout the tournament.

williams

    I think everyone knew that Roger Clemens would rub the plaque of Babe Ruth before every game he pitched at Yankee Stadium.

Clemens

   Major League Baseball Icon Joe DiMaggio would always step on second base while running out to centerfield.

DiMaggio

         If you have certain rituals/superstitions, we would love to hear them. Please email me, and they can be posted on a future blog. If you don’t have any, then start one! Everytime you come to McCoy Stadium buy a hot dog before the game. Then flip the hot dog around, add one strip of mustard and then eat it. If the PawSox win, stick with it, if they lose, try something else.

      Have a hamburger…Place three french fries on the burger, add condiments and consume. See how that works out. The best ritual ever is to get your tickets early! That way you get the best available seats and dates! Please keep in mind the season tickets or the flex ticket packages can save you money and enjoy all the extra benefits that come with it. Check out pawsox.com for all the latest news and upcoming events or promotions. Please give us a call at 401-724-7300 if you have any questions. One of the PawSox Rituals, each and every time in dealing with a customer is that we are……………”Here For You!”

Love hearing from you!                                    rickm@pawsox.com

Yours in Baseball,

Rick Medeiros 

1 Comment

Rick

I think the Boggs thing is a bit different than what you wrote – it wasn’t that his wife had 50 recipes for chicken – I thought he had 50 wives with the same recipe for chicken!

Pretty good blog – seems like the ideas are flowing.

Rick

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