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Not Stepping on the Chalk-Baseball

Information on the Informant: The informant, Awari Muoneke,  is one of my best friends who is currently a college baseball player (he plays outfield) at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He has played baseball his entire life and has always been one of the best players on the field when he played. He grew up in Rolling Hills Estates, California and attended Loyola High school. He is of Nigerian descent and is about as big of a baseball fan as you can possibly be. He is currently 19 years old and turns 20 in November of 2016.

Me: “So what exactly is your superstition with baseball?”

Informant: “I never step on the chalk lines that go through the base paths on a baseball field. Every time I run out to go to the outfield I jump over the chalk lines because I feel like it will jinx my performance on the field.”

Me: “Is there any reason exactly why you do this?”

Informant: “Well, when I was about 11 years old  in little league, we were in the playoffs for my All-Star team. It was the later part of the game and we were up by two runs. I had never thought about the whole stepping on the chalk thing before but for some reason when I ran out to the outfield in the last inning I noticed because I stepped on the chalk and it got all over my cleats. I went in to the outfield and within 20 minutes we gave up three runs and lost the game. Being an 11 year old kid, I got unnecessarily upset and cried because I was so devastated about the game. From that point on I really just made it my mission to never step on the chalk. I’ve lost many games without stepping on the chalk but for some reason I just feel like if I jump over it, something better will happen.”

Me: “Do you have any current or former teammates who did this?”

Informant:”Actually, yeah. I’ve seen teammates do this but I’m not really sure if its for the same reason or something different.”

Analysis: Unlike some other superstitions in sports, this one started for the informant because of a personal reason. It was interesting to find out that he has teammates who also did the same thing but not necessarily for the same reason. To this day, in college baseball, he still jumps over the chalk just as a personal habit. Although the act started at a superstition for good luck, it could be possible that he just does it as of habit now because it started 8 years ago.

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