Baseball fans are a superstitious lot. Baseball players are too for that matter. And when it comes to post-season play the craziness tends to increase.
That is certainly proving true here in San Francisco as the Giants get ready to play three home games against the Philadelphia Phillies. If they win all three, they will go to the World Series.
Whether its a lucky shirt, a special drink order, or a pair of underwear, if you did it the day the team won, you better do it again.
One spot that seems to be particularly superstitious these days is Lefty O’Doul’s restaurant in San Francisco’s Union Square. Lefty was one of the original players of the San Francisco Seals. The walls of place are covered with baseball lore.
Bartender Paul Stengel says he has lots of those ritualistic customers who ask for the same drinks, in the same order as the previous Giants win. The customers say it’s all about not disturbing the cosmic baseball order.
Stengel described one particular Giants super fan and his trusty Giants’ jersey. “He hasn’t taken off his shirt since two weeks prior to the post season,” said Stengel. And yes, Stengel says it is getting a little ripe.
We also caught up with the man who is credited with starting the "Fear the Beard" campaign on behalf of closer Brian Wilson. Daniel Turman admits he is one of those superstitious fans. “I definitely have rituals,” said Turman. “But I don’t wear a thong. I do my laundry. I don’t wear the same shirt for every game. It’s much cleaner to grow a beard and properly groom it.”
The superstitions seem to be even more dramatic when it comes to the players.
One of the Giants most infamous rituals is done by fan-favorite Pablo Sandoval who has a very distinct routine as he comes to the plate. He pounds the batters’ box four times with his bat. Then he taps the bat against his toes and then his shins and finally his helmet. His last move is to draw a cross figure in the dirt near home plate.
Pitching-ace Tim Lincecum admitted early in the season he also has a superstition. It got to a point where he couldn't deny it. The Cy Young Award winner has a lucky hat which he has worn for all of his major league starts where he's allowed to wear black. And no, he hasn't washed it.
While those are interesting, the superstition that is the most tantalizing of 2010 has to go to Aubrey Huff. He admitted back in September that he started wearing his wife's red thong underwear in hopes it would get him out of a hitting slump.
With 30 games left in the season, he declared that the power of the thong would be good enough to get the team 20 wins. And darned if they didn't get exactly 20 wins, which was just enough to get them to the post-season.
The piece of lingerie has been dubbed the Rally Thong and is now part of the Giants anthem.
If you need to get amped up for the game, why not watch the Ashkon video just one more time. Link here.