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Baseball Players With The All Time Weirdest Superstitions

Updated September 23, 2021 1.7k votes 285 voters 7.4k views12 items

List RulesVote up the strangest superstition in baseball.

What feels like the most boring moments of baseball are loaded with superstition. Players step to the plate, adjust their gloves, dig a hole in the batter’s box, take a few practice swings, do the sign of the cross and maybe spit to the side for good measure. For many players, these innocuous moments are steeped in superstition. 

And that’s just what they do when they go up to bat, not to mention all the routines and superstitions that go on before the game even starts. We’re talking about extremes like players peeing on their hands to not washing a very important article of clothing.

With that said, let’s play ball!

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  • Babe Ruth — "The Bambino" and "The Sultan of Swat" began his 22-year MLB career as an amazing left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but achieved his greatest fame as a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees, ending up with 714 career home runs.

    Ruth had a few superstitions up his sleeve, or rather, up his pants. First, he made sure to step on second base whenever he jogged in from right field. He would even run out from the dugout and kick it before the next half-inning began if he forgot. He refused to allow teammates to borrow a bat from him, claiming that every bat had a certain number of hits in it and there was no way he was giving one away to someone else. He also frequently wore women’s silken stockings during time off from the game, believing they prevented batting slumps. 

    • Age: Dec. at 53 (1895-1948)
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Pigtown, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
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  • Photo: Bowman Gum / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    No, not old haggard women, but actual wooden bats. Center fielder Richie Ashburn was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995, but not before everyone knew about his little secret. He reportedly had a habit of keeping successful baseball bats in bed with him to make sure clubhouse attendants didn’t misplace them. According to Ashburn, he would sleep with the bats in his bed. This prompted him to quip on the air: “I’ve slept with a lot of old bats.”

    • Age: Dec. at 70 (1927-1997)
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Tilden, Nebraska, United States of America
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  • Photo: Bowman Gum / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Satchel Paige is known as one of the greatest major league pitchers in history — and one of the oldest. In 1948, at age 42, he was the oldest major league rookie while playing for the Cleveland Indians. He played with the St. Louis Browns until age 47, and represented them in the All-Star Game in 1952 and 1953. In 1971, he became the first Negro leagues player to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    His secret? A little elbow grease — literally.

    Paige was able to pitch nine innings each time he took the mound, something he attributed to rubbing his pitching arm down with axle grease before each game. 

    • Age: Dec. at 76 (1906-1982)
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama, United States of America
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  • Photo: Googie Man / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Maybe it’s because baseball includes three strikes and three outs in an inning. Or maybe retired Expo Larry Walker was just a weirdo. For whatever reason, Walker obsessed over the number three. He would set his alarm for 33 minutes past the hour, wore the number 33 and took batting practice swings in multiples of three. But it didn’t stop there.

    While with the Expos — a team that signed him for $3 in 1993 — he bought 33 tickets for 33 disadvantaged kids and seated them in section 333. In his personal life, he got married on November third at 3:33 p.m., which unfortunately, didn’t work out. He got divorced — yes, three years later — and his ex-wife landed a three million dollar settlement. Good thing his lucky number wasn’t 100.

    • Age: 54
    • Nationality: Canada
    • Birthplace: Maple Ridge, Canada
    • Bats: Left-handed
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