MLB

Yanks stars sporting new superstition

NewsCore The Wall Street Journal
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Mark Teixeira looked down at his feet Saturday night and realized something wasn't quite right. Instead of his own familiar No. 25 socks, he had a 25 on one foot — and a No. 52 on the other. One of CC Sabathia's socks had found its way into Teixeira's locker.

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No big deal, he thought. He shrugged and left the sock on.

Two Teixeira home runs, six RBI and a historic Yankee comeback later, a new superstition was born. Teixeira and Sabathia have been swapping socks ever since, each going into battle wearing a 25 on one foot and a 52 on the other for good luck.

"I usually don't believe in superstition much. But if something out of the ordinary happens, and I have a good game or we win in a special fashion, I'll stick with it," Teixeira said.

When Sabathia wore Teixeira's sock and beat Texas's powerful lineup Monday, the power of the footwear seduced the skeptical Sabathia as well.

"I'm not really that superstitious," Sabathia swore. "But Teix told me what happened on Saturday, and we decided to do it [Monday] and it worked out for me, so we'll keep it up."

Baseball is a game of routines, where players find success from doing the same thing, day after day. The little differences, therefore, stand out starkly. And when a player changes his routine and finds success, a new superstition is created as he tries to bottle and reproduce that moment.

Most superstitions die out because a few too many hitless days cause a crisis of belief.

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"Whatever your golden superstition is, it's going to fail eventually in baseball," Teixeira said.

So instead he tries to squeeze every bit of luck he can out of whatever's the latest rabbit's foot.

"Early in my career, I would take the bus, and I'd get three hits — next day, I'm taking the bus," Teixeira said. "I ride it as much as I can. For me, as a power hitter, I live off my hot streaks. So whatever's working? I'm going to try to ride it."

Tagged: Yankees, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira

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