Folk Superstition

Folk Superstition

“Lending a bat to a fellow player is a serious jinx.”

“Some players actually sleep with their bat to break out of a hitting slump or stay in a groove.”

George told me that this superstition regarding baseball is really common and that baseball players are apparently very careful about how they treat their bats.  As he stated, there are a couple specific superstitions that players follow in order to bring good luck or play well in a game.  A lot of superstitions, understandably, are related to the items that the players use during the game.  Bats in particular, along with mitts, hats, and uniforms, happen to carry a lot of weight in terms of bringing good luck.

The first superstition is associated with a players unique batting skills on a team.  Each individual is chosen on a sports team because of their abilities and what they have to offer as players.  When a player has a specific bat they play with, or bats, they associate that bat with their strength, power, and ability to succeed during the game.  The bat is also like a token that signifies a player’s ability to help carry the team.  If players were to switch bats, it most likely believed to be bad luck because it carries the significance of another player’s skills.  Though this clearly can’t be proven, exchanging bats would be like trying to exchange vibes or comfort zones.  Additionally, it is probably simply more comfortable to play with a bat that one has been practicing with and using over and over.  If it is a bat that has brought the player luck and has helped them score, exchanging the bat could be believed to be bad luck because it will stop the luck.

This is similar to the second quote which associates winning/losing streaks with bats.  If a player is doing really well and helping his team win games, he might sleep with the bat to try to stay on that winning streak.  However, if the player stops playing well and the team starts to lose, sleeping with the bat might also help get them out of that slump.  Players most likely believe on that having the bat close to them will literally give them extra playing powers.  Also, some players may believe that the bat will send good luck vibes to their subconscious while they are sleeping.  Being with the bat as often as possible makes the player feel more comfortable with the item they will be using on the field later in games.

The reason these superstitions are probably so popular and common is that they may actually have an indirect effect on the players.  Even though technically sleeping with a bat or consistently using the same bat doesn’t actually give the players physical powers or lucky necessarily, it still has a subconscious effect.  If the players believe that the bat is bringing them good luck, it probably gives them more confidence and as a result they perform better during the games.  Though it can’t be proven, these superstitions are widely held on baseball teams and believed to be true on both a conscious and subconscious level.