Thursday, 21 April 2011

Superstitions and Habits

In many sports, athletes would have their own superstitions or habits they following before a game or during a game, and if you ask any baseball player, they will tell you they have a routine they follow. There are some basic unwritten rules that many players follow, just because they feel it may give them bad luck if they break them, such as not stepping on the foul lines, and not running over the pitcher's mound on the way back to the dugout.

Adam O'Neill is an Australian pitcher with the New York Mets, and he jumps over the foul lines on his way to and from the mound. Also before every game, he likes to put the headphones in and listen to a bit of Eminem.

Jarryd Sullivan who is with the Pittsburgh Pirates, makes sure he puts his left sock on and left cleat on first all the time before he goes out on the field for the day. While he's taking his warm up pitches before the start of each inning, he throw's his 8 pitches in a specific sequence that he always follows. That is 2 fastballs, 2 changeups, 2 curveballs then back to 2 fastballs.

My room mate Jacob Younis, waits until he gets out of the dugout before putting his helmet on, and has his batting gloves undone until he gets up the batters box, he then tightens them up, and as he gets into the box he draws a cross on the plate before facing the pitcher. He does this routine for every pitch, he will step out of the batters box, undo his batting gloves, retighten them and get back in the box and draws the cross on the plate.

Mark Trau likes to clean the plate before the start of every inning, and also by habit, he hitches his belt in between every pitch.

Tyler Herr who has already made an appearance in my United Nations blog, likes to read a book on nights before he knows he will be pitching. He also has a specific hat, glove and pair of cleats he uses on game day.

Kelvin Silvania, who is a 1st basemen with the Twins, likes to hit off the tee every morning in the batting cages and while he walks up to the batters box in games, he holds his cup (protector/box, whatever you want to call  it) and does a 'funky leg kick' as he liked to explain it.

I could write a book on all my superstitions and routines that I follow, but I will only write about a few of them. In the dugout in between innings, my glove and hat always sit to the left of me, with my hat sitting on top of my glove. When I go out to the mound in to start an inning, I put my hat on first, carry my glove in my right hand, then start to walk to the mound, when I get half way between the dugout and foul line I start to jog out, once I get to the foul line, I take a big leap over it, I put my glove onto my left hand, then start to walk over to pick up the ball. I only pick up the baseball on the 3rd base side of the mound, sometimes I will have to kick the ball over from the first base side, or if the ball is on the mound, I ask a position player to kick the ball off the mound for me. While playing for the Ryde-Eastwood Hawks in Sydney, my 3rd and 1st basemen have been asked multiple times to please kick the ball off the mound for me.

If you ask all of us why we do this, we may not have a reason for you, it's just what a wacky routine that we have gotten into over time, and some people think its why they may be successful on that day.

1 comment:

  1. Todd you are a bit wacky - and you get that from your Mum.
    She always leaves via the Front door at home whenever she has to go out to do anything important. Be it to work, an interview, a journey, even to your baseball game! It works for her. So I bet it works for you too!!!!