Yankee fans see superstitions as key to team's World Series success
Good pitching and timely hitting usually are the keys to winning baseball games, but in the superstitious minds of some anxious Yankee fans, winning the World Series may come down to a tattered hat or a turkey sandwich.
As the Fall Classic begins tonight in the Bronx, fans will be doing their part with lucky charms, time-honored rituals and maybe even a prayer.
"I wear the same hat I’ve had for close to nine years," said Jeremy Cobin, 27, a Yankees fan in Manhattan. "Recently, the brim broke basically in half, but it doesn’t matter. I’m still wearing it."
At a pep rally the city is hosting for the Bronx Bombers at 12:30 p.m. today in Times Square, New Yorkers are encouraged to attend dressed in their Yankee gear.
Carla Pasquale, 24, of Manhattan, has two rings she wears for each game: one her mother bought her in Ireland for luck and a sparkly Yankees ring purchased by a friend.
"I’m also starting to think it’s good luck when my boyfriend watches the games with me, but since he’s a die-hard Phillies fan we definitely won’t be watching the World Series together," she said.
Superstitions — by players, fans and coaches — are ubiquitous in baseball.
"It’s a way to stabilize a certain emotion," said Richard Lustberg, a sports psychologist. "Some of them believe there’s actually a higher purpose, but part of it is just the routine. It provides structure for people."
Jane Heller, a Yankees blogger and author of "Confessions of a She-Fan," said she ate turkey club sandwiches when the team went on a five-game winning streak to begin the postseason, switching her meal only after the first loss to the Angels. Still, she stakes out the same spot on the couch for every game.
"It’s a way that fans try to have control over something that we can’t control," she said.
Sometimes that winning formula can be elusive.
Emma Span, 27, of Brooklyn, who writes for the Yankees blog Bugs and Cranks, said during the second game of the ALCS against the Angels, which the Yankees eventually won, she set her Bernie Williams bobble-head doll in different places throughout her apartment, hoping for some luck.
"Bernie was all over the place," she said. "Nothing worked, until he ended up under the bed, which seemed to do the trick."