Posts Tagged ‘Wade Boggs’

Former Yankee, Wade Boggs, was one of the most superstitious athletes of all-time. He had quite the routine. During his career, he woke up at exactly the same time every day, ate chicken before every game (Jim Rice nicknamed him “Chicken Man”), took batting practice at exactly 5:17, did wind sprints at exactly 7:17, and etched the Hebrew symbol “Chai” in the dirt before he entered the batter’s box. The thing is..he’s not Jewish..so I always wondered why he did that. Of course, the symbol can be worn by anyone, but it was a very unusual thing to do.

Before he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, he gave an interview to Mark Groenich, explaining why he did that throughout his enitre career.

From Being Jewish:

MARK GROENICH: I have an offbeat question that one of my clients wants to know about.You write the word chai by home plate. How did that come about? Where and when did you first start doing it? How did you first learn about what chai meant?    

WADE BOGGS: I was seven years old and in Brunswick, Georgia. I was going through a magazine and there were symbols in the back of the magazine. One of them was the chai sign for good luck and life. I looked at it and said, well, I’ll just wish myself good luck when I get into the batter’s box and I drew it with my feet. I just continued to do that throughout my career. I would draw the chai sign in the dirt before I got into the batter’s box, not being Jewish, but, it was just a symbol that I used throughout my career — just wishing myself good luck when I got up, before I got into the box.    

GROENICH: It would help?    

BOGGS: Along with the other 85 (superstitions) that I had — they all helped. (more…)

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Derek Jeter has 2,892 career hits, which places him 108 hits from reaching 3,000. The New York Yankees have never had a player crack the 3,000-hit barrier in their uniform. That’s what makes this so special. They’ve had players in the past who reached the milestone (Dave Winfield, Rickey Henderson and Wade Boggs), but they weren’t career Yankees, and didn’t wear the pinstripes when they did it. Lou Gehrig was the closest player to 3,000, compiling 2,721 hits over 17 seasons.

When a player enters the 3,000 hit club, it’s thought of as a gauranteed spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The club has 27 members, but only 24 are eligible for the Hall of Fame right now. Pete Rose is ineligible for gambling on baseball games, while Craig Biggio and Rafael Palmeiro have been active within the past five seasons. Palmeiro will become eligible in 2011, while Biggio will have to wait until 2013. With Rafael being linked to steroids, it’s highly unlikely he will get in.

For Derek, it will just be another accolade to add to his résumé. He doesn’t need to break this barrier to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but it’s just one of those very special moments in a player’s career. With only 34 games left in the season, Derek won’t be breaking the record this year.

The watch has already started, but it won’t end until early next season.

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Baseball players have been known to have their own superstitious ways when it comes to getting the best production out of themselves on the ball field. These players get stuck in these ridiculous routines and they keep it the same when things are going good for them. Can you imagine if people in other professions were as superstitious as baseball players? Like, your boss would insist you wear a purple thong for board meetings? I don’t know, call them stupid..but I happen to enjoy these stories and I find them very interesting.

1) The Curse of the Bambino was a superstition that fans had for the failure of the Boston Red Sox not winning the World Series in the 86-year period from 1918 until 2004. The curse was said to have begun after the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees. The curse ended in 2004, when the Red Sox came back from a 0-3 deficit in a best-of-seven series to beat the Yankees in the ’04 ALCS.

2) Jason Giambi wears a golden thong when he’s desperate to get out of a big slump. the thong was given to him by a company as a joke, but he’s been using it ever since 1996 when he was with the Oakland Athletics. “It works every time,” Giambi told the Daily News. Giambi claimed he hung his thong in the lockers of teammates Bernie Williams, Robin Ventura and Robinson Cano when they had trouble generating runs. Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon also wore his golden thong. “The News showed its support for the sagging Yankees by delivering 26 golden thongs to the clubhouse – one for every player on the team and manager Joe Girardi.” He also didn’t shave for a couple of days during the 2008 season, and decided to grow a mustache. He wound up going on a major hitting streak and he kept it. The Yankees had “Jason Giambi Mustache Day” at Yankee stadium back in 2008. They gave away replica mustaches to the first 20,000 fans.

3) Wade Boggs was famously known for eating chicken before every game. He famously became known as the “chicken man.” He was also known for the very precise schedule he kept. He woke up and took batting practice at the same time everyday. Boggs took exactly 100 ground balls in practice. Although Boggs was not Jewish, he also drew the Hebrew word “Chai”, meaning “life”, in the batter’s box before each at-bat. He did it in hope for good luck, and in hope that he wouldn’t jinx himself or his team. (more…)

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