Many baseball players follow a variety of traditions, ranging from never stepping on the foul line and not talking to a pitcher during a no-hitter/perfect game to a multitude of batting stance and pitching rituals.
Here are various superstitions from former, present and future Toronto Blue Jays.
LF John Olerud: Olerud was the last Major Leaguer to wear a batting helmet in the field. It started after an accident in college when he suffered a brain hemorrhage during a workout. He wore the helmet to protect against line drives and collisions. While he could have discarded the helmet, superstition compelled him to continue wearing the hard hat throughout his career.
LHP Scott Downs: While Downs admits that he drinks a cup of coffee every second inning, the former Blue Jays reliever admits he must always write his kids’ names in the mound. “That’s the biggest [thing] I make sure I do every time. It makes me feel like they are with me and makes me feel like what’s going on is not that big of a deal,” he said.
SP R.A. Dickey: While position players are known to name their bats, it’s rare that a pitcher does the same. Dickey, however, did just that with the New York Mets before joining the Blue Jays this past offseason. Specifically, the 2012 Cy Young Award winner chose not to put a numbered sticker on his bat, and instead he wrote his number and a bat name in black ink. Some of the names for his bats included the Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver and the Hrunting, coming from “The Hobbit” and “Beowulf.”
OF Jose Bautista: Despite finding tremendous success with the Blue Jays throughout the past few seasons, Bautista does not have any superstitions, admitting instead that while he has routines and rituals, he is willing to alter them.
INF Ryan Goins: The Blue Jays’ 2009 fourth-round pick admitted that he loves to chew bubble gum, specifically Trident Layers. “I like the green apple and pineapple flavor […]. I don't know why. I started it last year and it worked out. I kept hitting, so I wanted to keep doing it," he said.
SP Casey Lawrence: Starting for Toronto’s High-A and AA team last year, Lawrence says that his superstitions include wearing the same clothes for every start he makes, listening to the same playlist on his iPod exactly one hour and 45 minutes prior to each of his starts and doing the same warm-up routine. “I always hop over the line when going to and coming from the pitcher’s mound. As well, for the warm-up, I always throw in this order two 4-seam fastballs, two 2-seam fastballs, two change-ups and one slider,” Lawrence said.
What are some of your favorite baseball rituals? Comment in the section below.