Baseball Ritual

Topics: Baseball, Fastball, Pitcher Pages: 2 (501 words) Published: April 3, 2007
"Baseball Magic"

The use of ritual magic is to ensure success over activities in which uncertainty and limited control exist. In baseball, players tend to have daily rituals which are seen as superstitious in order to ensure good performance. Players may eat the same meal in which they won last time, or touch jersey and fix cap after every pitch and so on. These rituals are seen with hitters and pitchers the most. Baseball and any other sport is never certain, a team may win one day and lose the next, the use of rituals act to impose order and certainty on a uncertain situation.

The daily rituals of baseball players give them a sense of confidence, control, and competence over their performance. Every player is judged from his performance and the salary and position stems from whether or not they perform up to standards or above. Many players have the talent but sometimes no luck, a pitcher can have a horrible record yet have a low ERA, earned run average. Pitchers tend to have certain rituals that protect them from bad luck, pitcher Ron Bryant would add a new stick of bubble gum to his back pocket after every game he won. Activities as these are done so to give the player a sense of control because many situations in baseball are out of their control. A pitcher can pitch his fastest fastball and yet it still gets crushed into the stands. Hitting is another uncertainty therefore creates superstition and rituals to help control the situation, at least in the mind of the batter. Hitting is one of the most difficult skills in the world of sports, in order to hit a baseball traveling at 90 plus miles per hour you must have quick reflexes and skill. Many hitters will eat a certain meal and hit a homerun that very day, because of this they will continue to follow the same routine.

Many taboos amongst baseball players are on an individual level. For instance a hitter may eat pancakes before a game and go 0 for 4 with three strike outs, he will no longer eat...
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