My informant is currently on his high school baseball team and I remember him telling me about this strange legend that morphed into a tradition for every season thereafter, here is what he said.
“Once year, these few guys on our baseball team, like one night they were really drunk and had gone fishing at the lake near school, and had caught a fight. They thought it would be funny if they buried under the visitor’s bullpen and it would smell or something. Then they snuck into the Camelback Inn Hotel for fun and because they were drunk, and hung out in the hot tub. The season before had been a loosing season, and yet somehow that season we nearly got to state and they all thought it was the fish. So every then out, as a team we catch or buy a fish, bury under the visitor’s bullpen and then sneak in to the hotel and hang out in the hot tub. It’s for good luck, we call it team bonding, they told me we have always just done it. And every year there are new, funny things for the new player to do. Everyone does it, one scoop of dirt at a time per person, a team effort, no special attention.”
Sports, especially baseball have quite a lot of superstitions, legends and taboos because of the uncertainty of the game. A lot of the game and the season is out of complete control so these superstitions and traditions have a lot to do of putting control back into the player’s hands. In this case, the control is of the whole season. They continue this tradition in the interest of having a good season and if they do not do this strange tradition, they will not have a good season. It is not merely good luck, but defining the whole season based on this occurrence. Baseball players are truly creatures of habit who don’t stray from routines, traditions or habits unless they are in a slump then, they will venture a change, but in this case it is a long-standing tradition. This not only bonds the team together, but it is also performing identity as part of a team. Only the varsity team at this school performs this and thus only they would get to know and appreciate this experience.