For as long as I’ve been watching sports, I’ve always known baseball players to be the most superstitious of all athletes.
Whether it’s not washing their socks and/or uniforms during a winning streak, or not stepping on the foul line coming on or off the field, most baseball players have some type of superstition.
I, for one, relish it. I love hearing the stories.
Like the one that was told on “The Prep Zone” sports show this past Wednesday at Sonic Drive-In.
Our guests were the Santa Fe (Alachua) baseball team, which recently had an 11-game winning streak snapped on the road. The Raiders lost at Baker County (Glen St. Mary), 4-0, on Tuesday to drop to 11-2.
Sophomore Conner Brown may have told the most interesting superstition that I’ve ever heard.
The subject came up about Brown not making an error at second base this season.
When that got mentioned on the radio show on Wednesday, co-host Marty Pallman, Santa Fe baseball coach Travis Yeckring, and I all made a ‘knock on wood’ gesture, which is a superstition in its own right because you are trying to avoid tempting fate.
“Yeah, knock on wood, please,” Brown said. “Second base, it’s new to me this year, but I’ve had no problems so far.”
While Brown was quick to point out that it’s about the reps when it comes to his success fielding the ball, he did offer a theory on why the Raiders may have lost on April 5.
“I live in a little town called High Springs and I have to go down back roads to get to school in the morning, and any day we have practice or game day, I drive by a certain pasture. It’s got one lone white cow in it, all white cow, and if I don’t see that in the morning I don’t have a good feeling, and that actually happened yesterday (Tuesday) in our loss to Baker.”
To which Coach Yeckring replied, “You should have let me know. I could have canceled the game.”
I joked that coach is going to call ahead and make sure the cow will be there, especially during the playoffs.
“When the postseason rolls around, that cow is going to be out there in that field,” I said.
Brown was a closer on the mound for Santa Fe last year as a freshman, finishing with four saves in nine appearances, and he has remained in a relief role in 2022.
“I love him at the back end of games,” Yeckring said. “Fearless, fearless competitor.”
Brown has already matched his four saves in just seven appearances this season. He relishes when the game is on the line.
“I love pressure,” Brown said. “It’s good to come off the mound after you strike that last kid out and you’re just all fired up, the whole team, everybody, in the stands, on the bench, on the field, it doesn’t matter where.”
But if he doesn’t see the white cow on his morning drive before a game, now that’s pressure.