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How to Understand Baseball Superstitions

The baseball gods are fickle, so do whatever has to be done to get them to smile on you and your team.


  • Step 1: Have a high pain threshold and don't rub the sore spot if you're hit by a pitch. Possibly to intimidate the opposition, many Major League players refuse to rub an elbow, arm, or leg after they get beaned.
  • Step 2: Perform the exact same routine at every at-bat. Whether it's stepping out of the batter's box, tapping your cleats between every pitch, or Nomar Garciaparra's legendarily incessant batting glove adjustments, keeping the routine keeps you focused.
  • Step 3: Sit in the same spot on the dugout while your team is at bat. Keep the same lucky spot and, if anyone else sits there, it's expected that they'll know it's your spot and move when you get back to the dugout. Follow every superstition, no matter how bizarre, and the baseball gods just may send you a ring.
  • FACT: After the 1919 season, Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees, initiating the "Curse of the Bambino." The curse was broken in 2004, when the Sox won their first World Series in 86 years.
  • Step 4: Don't wash your uniform if you're on a roll. Wear the same dirty, smelly uniform, day after day, until the streak ends. Why risk washing the luck out of it?
  • TIP: Don't break your routine.
  • TIP: Fans supporting the team being shut out, however, have been known to yammer on about it, hoping to break the streak.
  • Step 5: Step over the foul line when you're going onto the field defensively if you're a player. It's not that anything specific will happen, like breaking your mother's back, it's just generally considered bad luck.
  • Step 6: Let your hair grow if your team, or you personally, is on a hot streak. If you've hit safely in the past six games, don't cut your hair until you put up an 0-fer. If your team is doing poorly, everyone should shave their heads or get Mohawks, at least until things turn around.
  • Step 7: Don't comment on a no-hitter or a perfect game in progress. This goes for fans, players, staff, and announcers. If you talk about it, you'll jinx it, and if the other team gets a hit, you'll be blamed for blowing the no-hitter.

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