Why are some sports so superfluously superstitious?

By Mary Granth Posted June 2, 2010

Many people maintain superstitions in all areas of life. However, one area in which superstitions run rampant is in sports. Just ask the Lowry High School baseball team who buried their lucky bat two feet underneath the field at the close of their season.

“We buried it because the bat has been around a very long time,” said catcher Mitch Pollock, “Every time someone would go and use the bat they would do good with it.”

Pollock said having the bat buried under the field will make everyone feel confident when they step up to the plate, stating that it’s “kind of a mind game.”

Pollock has other superstitions as well. “I have two sets of batting gloves with me at all times because if I’m not hitting well with the pair I have on I’ll switch.”

Pitcher Bryan Noble has his own superstitions as well. “For a pitcher there’s one I believe somewhat in, where the game ball, it’s the pitcher’s and no one else is suppose to touch it …before the first pitch.”

The baseball team isn’t the only Lowry team with superstitions, however; the softball team also has some weird quirks such as not stepping on the foul lines. “Once they’re done you don’t want to step on them until the game starts. We think if you step on them it will bring you bad luck,” said first baseman Lynnsey Johnson.

Some sport superstitions have been passed down from generation to generation. Such as not washing socks in between games, wearing the same pair of shorts, or using the same number each year.

Many major league teams have superstitions as well. Perhaps the most famous of which is the “Curse of the Bambino” the Red Sox experienced from 1918 to 2004 during which time they were unable to win the world series supposedly because they had traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

The Cubs have also been experiencing a similar curse called the Billy Goat curse. According to legend the owner of local tavern was asked to leave Wrigley Field because his goat’s stench was bothering other fans. The tavern owner stated that the Cubs would never win another World Series and curse hold firm, The Cubs haven’t been to a World Series since 1945.

However, the real question is: are superstitions legitimate or are they psychological?

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