Superstitions help Western baseball


Some baseball players insist on wearing the same underwear for every game, others refuse to step on the chalk line, some dirty their hat before the game even begins.

The Griffons have no shortage of superstitions on their team. Some players get others involved in their superstition while others do their own personal thing. Even coach Buzz Verduzco has his share of superstitions.

Verduzco fills out his lineup card the same way for every game. He also posts the card in the same spot in the dugout. He doesn’t like guys getting individual media spotlight either.

“Anytime you get individual, a guy ends up 0-20,” said Verduzco. “We keep some of our up and coming guys away from the media out of fear they will go in the tank.”

One of the Griffons’ hottest players this season has a superstition of his own. Junior Tommy Bone leads the MIAA in batting average and has been a leader for the Griffons all year. That hasn’t stopped him from engaging in his own superstition.

“I refuse to touch anyone’s helmet but my own,” said Bone.

Some of these superstitions are normal in baseball, but some players on the team take part in truly crazy rituals.

Most superstitions are an individual thing.

Not for Sophomore Troy Landi. Landi likes to get other players involved.

The Spitbox is a ritual that some Griffon players get involved with. One person draws a square in the dirt to create a box for the event.

Then everyone stands in the same spot and spits into it.

“Everyone has to do it in the same order every time,” said Landi.

The award for strangest superstition goes to Drew Waller. Waller has a unique ritual that gets out of slumps.

When this Griffon goes into a slump he puts change into his right pocket. It’s always 37 cents. No more, no less.

“It’s called the Half Team,” said Waller. “It helps me get out of a slump or cold streak.”

Some Griffons don’t buy into baseball superstitions.

Willie Forrest is one such player.

He hasn’t ever really gotten into rituals and superstitions.

“Baseball has always had superstitions, but they just aren’t for me,” said Forrest.

Some players have different opinions on why guys have superstitions.

Bone thinks it’s a confidence thing. He says players repeat things they think help.

“If a guy does something one day and has a good day, he wants to do it again,” said Bone.

Landi has a different opinion on why players do such crazy things. He thinks it is a comfort thing.

“If someone finds something that works they want to keep doing it. I think it’s a matter of being comfortable,” said Landi.

Baseball players do some truly crazy things for hot streaks. They think they are doing what they have to do in order to win. After all, the baseball gods may be watching.

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