Posted at 4:34 PM on August 22, 2007
by Steve Rudolph
Baseball players are arguably the most superstitious of all athletes. Some wear lucky t-shirts they wear under their jersey, others break bats in the same way before game use, and many have quirky rituals that they go through before each at bat.
But the players aren’t the only ones who think routines and superstitions can affect the outcome of the game. Their fans believe it too. I know, because I was partially responsible for the Twins winning the World Series in 1987. Frank Viola confirmed it last weekend.
I’m not sure how our superstitious behavior started that season. I guess it stemmed from my friend Joe and I being surprised by the team’s success during the season and reasoning that whatever we were doing at the game had to be contributing.
So we did and said the same things at every game, and we must have attended 20-30 that season. Be it parking in the same ramp for every game, ordering the same items from the same concession stand (a Bagel Cheddarwurst and a Coke in the souvenir cup was my Dome fare), or making our dash to the restroom during the same visitor at bat; our routine never deviated.
We even had a variety of cheers that we used in key stretches. And, I’m embarrassed to admit, we would regularly put a hex on the opposition’s best player from our outfield perch. We did quite a number on Darrell Evans holding him without an extra base hit or RBI in the ALCS, at least that’s what we tell ourselves.
Also, if you study the crowd photos from any playoff game in 1987 and find the one guy that wasn’t waving his Homer Hanky, that was Joe. He brought his to every game, but it was never allowed to leave his back pocket.
Looking back at these and some of our other superstitions, I feel pretty silly. But can anyone say, with absolute certainty, that the Twins would have brought the state its first championship without our quirky antics? I don’t think so. So now I’m feeling a little snubbed that we weren’t invited to ride in the parade last Saturday before the game.