In writing about my superstitions when it comes to baseball (“The Power And Pitfalls Of Superstition,” May 16), I realized I might seem odd, if not foolish, to many readers. And no doubt I did.
But judging from the large and often hilarious notes I’ve received, I’m not alone in my strange rituals. And in fact, some of these folks make me look downright logical.
One guy, a professor, no less, wrote to say he has “a host of superstitions regarding the Orioles — including being convinced that as soon as I turn on the game (radio or tv) something negative will happen.
“It's gotten to the point where I will not turn on the television until I check out the Internet to see what the score is — and will only watch the game if the Orioles are winning and at bat.”
A fellow journalist wrote to say he can’t eat during a game, and that the results on the field are determined by how he paces on the linoleum floor in his kitchen.
Another correspondent said that if his team his winning he doesn’t change his position, seated or standing. And there’s the fellow who is too nervous to follow the game and can’t bear to watch or listen when the other team is up at bat.
Ah, for the simple pleasures of baseball, like actually watching or listening to the game in real time, as it is played, for the sheer enjoyment of it. But being a true fan is not about enjoyment, it’s about suffering, being a nervous wreck until the game is over, won or lost.
The Great American Pastime, indeed.