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August 23rd, 2012

Quirks

I found this piece on athlete’s superstitions (read: compulsions) to be a pretty fascinating read. The two most interesting people on the list, IMO:

Kevin Rhomberg, Cleveland Indians (1982-1984)

Rhomberg’s most peculiar superstition was that if someone touched him, he had to touch that person back. Although this compulsion was not as much of a liability as it might have been in basketball or football, it still led to some odd situations: if Rhomberg were tagged out while running the bases, he’d wait until the defense was clearing the field at inning’s end to chase down the player who’d touched him. Rhomberg also refused to make right turns while on the field, because baserunners are always turning left. So if a situation forced him to make a right turn, he’d go to his left and make a full circle to get moving in the correct direction.

and

Turk Wendell (baseball, 1993-2004)

Among Wendell’s more notable quirks was his requirement that he chew four pieces of black licorice while pitching. At the end of each inning, he’d spit them out, return to the dugout, and brush his teeth, but only after taking a flying leap over the baseline.

Also for Wendell: “drawing three crosses in the dirt on the mound, always throwing the rosin bag down as hard as he could, and insisting figures in his contract end in 99 as a tribute to his jersey number.”

That’s enough to make me feel normal!

Posted in Just Plain Odd, Sports

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