Noodles and Ketchup Before Games


This piece is a ritual of eating noodles and ketchup before every baseball game.

Main Piece:

“S: Okay so baseball superstitions, there’s a lot. And even for me personally. When I was younger, before every baseball game since I was probably 9, which is like 8, 9 years of my life after this, the meal I had before was noodles and ketchup.

C: Noodles and ketchup? Is this just you? Like did you choose this?

S: People eat noodles and ketchup. But like to me… it was like a little bit of vinegar and carbs. The carbs to give me energy. So I would have the carbs and that would be great. And I would have that beore every game. My mom would cook that before every game. She is stoked with noodles because she knew… And like three games a week, it was noodles before every game. Even if it was in the morning.

C: Was that like… like did you enjoy eating it? Or was it like something you had to do?

S: No, I enjoyed eating it.

C: I’ve never heard of that before.

S: I never eat it outside of that. It’s like attached to baseball for me. And I ate it so much.

C: Wait, ketchup right?

S: Yeah ketchup, butter, and noodles.

C: I can’t imagine those together.

S: It’s really good. You should try it.”


The informant is a 20 year old from Arkansas who has played baseball for most of his life. When he started playing baseball at 9 years old, this food custom began and he has eaten this particular meal before every game, for good luck. His mom is the one who first introduced the noodles and ketchup to him.


I think eating noodles and ketchup is more of a good luck charm than anything else. Though it has a link to baseball, it seems that it’s most important role is to bring good luck before the game and eating the meal will insure that in the mind of the informant. It makes me think of the Spanish ritual of eating 12 grapes at the New Years to insure good luck and well being for the coming year. That is the same type of food related tradition of eating something before an event to insure good luck.