While at our local 99 Restaurant, a former player of mine stopped by our table to say hello. He was an outstanding backstop and although I normally don’t coach that position - never having played it, times were lean back then, so I filled in as best I could. During our brief meeting I knocked the saltshaker over and spilled some salt on the table. After putting the shaker back in its holder, I was asked why I didn’t toss some salt over my shoulder - an old custom for good luck, I guess. I then remembered how superstitious this guy was on our club. He’d do all kind of stuff - while going to the stadium, on and off the bus, in the clubhouse, going to and going off the field, prior to giving signals, and so forth. When I jokingly mentioned some of those things, he straighten up and said …" they work!" He then told me about the egg salad sandwiches that his girl friend use to make for him and cut the sandwich in half - placing an impression of a kiss on one half… He would always eat that half with her kiss on it, first.
We had a game where another backstop was going to get some playing time. We were so far behind in the standings that it made sense to use our number 2 backstop. Unfortunately, our number 2 got hurt on the second pitch of the first inning. So, we sent in this backstop right then and there. We all got to the stadium late because of bus problems and traffic, so we were all in a hurry. While we rushed our number 1 guy to suit up and get out there, somehow in the rush his eggs salad sandwich went missing. After the game, one of our fielders was sick and in the stalls for some time. We later found a half eaten egg salad sandwich in the trash - but the half without the kiss impression was eaten.
After a few chuckles he looked at me and said… and I quote… “See coach… I always had the kiss sandwich first for good luck.” Then he nodded to one side and said… " That guy in the stalls eat the wrong side…"
Ball players… they’re all nuts!!