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Monday, October 10, 2005

It's bad luck to be superstitious

Have you ever had good news that you wanted to share, but you worry about jinxing it if you talked about it? Do you throw a pinch of salt over your shoulder if you spill it? If so you're not alone. Lots of people are superstitious. Take this guy for instance in The Chicago Tribune:

In terms of career impact, outfielder Kevin Rhomberg barely caused a ripple in the majors, during which he appeared in a grand total of 41 games for the Cleveland Indians in the early 1980s. Oh, Rhomberg racked up a sweet average of .383 (18-for-47), which will always look fabulous in the Baseball Encyclopedia. But when it comes to the teeming world of baseball superstitions, Rhomberg was Rogers Hornsby, Willie Mays and Babe Ruth rolled into one--the Rajah of Rituals, the Say Hex Kid, the Sultan of Spells. If the commissioner ever commissions a Mt. Rushmore of obsessively superstitious ballplayers, there will have to be a spot on the mountain (complete with lucky T-shirt made of granite) for Rhomberg, right alongside idiosyncratic icons Wade Boggs, Turk Wendell and Larry Walker. Just ask Dan Rohn, the Seattle Mariners' Triple-A manager in Tacoma, about Rhomberg. The player's signature superstition, foremost on a long and varied list, was the need to touch back someone who had just touched him. If a person somehow eluded his return touch, Rhomberg would send a letter that said, "This constitutes a touch." Teammates, having ballplayers' playfully sadistic sensibilities, loved nothing more than to touch him and then run off, sending Rhomberg into a near panic. Rick Sutcliffe once reached under a bathroom stall to touch Rhomberg on the toe. Not knowing the culprit, Rhomberg went around the clubhouse and touched each player. Brook Jacoby once told of tagging Rhomberg with a ball in the minors, then throwing it out of the stadium. Jacoby said Rhomberg spent two hours looking for the ball before finding it. An umpire once halted play during a game in New York to tell Yankees players to stop touching Rhomberg.
Here's a site that bills itself as the "Largest List of Superstitions On The Web." Here's some of the Halloween superstitions:
* If you hear foot steps behind you on this night, don't look back. It may be the dead following you. Turning back could mean that you will soon join the dead. * The old Celtic custom was to light great bonfires on Halloween, and after these had burned out to make a circle of the ashes of each fire. Within this circle, and near the circumference, each member of the various families that had helped to make a fire would place a pebble. If, on the next day, any stone was out of its place, or had been damaged, it was held to be an indication that the one to whom the stone belonged would die within twelve months. * Halloween derives its name from the fact that in the Christian calendar it occurs the day before 'All Saints' or All Hallows' Day. It was the last night of the old year according to the ancient calendar of the Celts. On that night it was said that the witches, hobgoblins, warlocks, and other evil spirits walked abroad and devoted themselves to wicked revels. But the good fairies, too, according to some folklore, made their appearance at this time, but only from the hour of dusk until midnight. * If a bat flies into a house it is a sign that ghosts are about and maybe the ghost let the bat in.
Here's another site listing superstitions. BTW, I've got good news I'd love to share, but I don't want to jinx it.

2 Comments:

Blogger cookie jill said...

A friend of mine at the race track would always play the horse "taking a dump" on the track. He said it "lightened them up"

10/10/2005 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger protected static said...

Oooooohhh.... I hope it's what I think it is!

10/10/2005 11:03:00 PM  

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