Baseball players are unusual people by and large. For the most part they are vastly superstitious creatures, frequently demonstrating behaviors that would be considered odd, unexaplainable, socially unacceptable, and at times down right inappropriate by the general public. Many of them have created certain ritualistic practices that they believe whole heartedly will give them a distinct advantage against their opponent.
Being around baseball and playing at a collegiate level, I witnessed (and practiced myself) several of these behaviors as a direct result of the superstition that surrounds the game. For me personally, I had to make sure that I shined my left cleat before my right prior to the game, I had the exact same routine in the on deck circle, when I was going through a batting slump I ate shaved coconut before each at bat, I coated my helmet with pine tar and had to touch it 3 times with my right hand as I was walking from the on-deck circle to the batters box. I had so many rituals and superstitions that without a doubt I suffered from some sort of boarderline personality disorder. Often times I’d be consumed by them, and if one of my superstitious behaviors was interrupted or not completed – I might as well have walked into the batters box, told the umpire he had a fat ass and I was sleeping with his wife so that I would get kicked out of the game, because I wasn’t going to perform. My inner Qi (chi) was disrupted, I was off kilter, my head wouldn’t be right.
Fortunately, for me I have been able to suffer through the long road of recovery and have not carried over too many of my ritualistic behaviors to real life and fly fishing. Now instead of tying my left cleat, then untying it, then tying it again before moving onto my right cleat – I simply put on a pair of waders (Still right leg first) and walk down the path towards the river.
However, there is one thing that for me I FIRMLY BELIEVE is more powerful than all else – my hat. Hat selection for me is undoubtedly crucial to my potential success of the day, my hat holds a mystical power that allows me to function at a higher level, allowing me to perform in a way that wouldn’t be possible if I wasn’t wearing it.
Dan is a generous friend that is always looking out for me, and recently he stumbled upon a dome topper that he knew belonged on my head. So, for Christmas he gave me a fantastically awesome lid produced by Kast. It’s a simple hat, brown and khaki 2 tone, with a small off centered picture of a brown trout mean mugging. It felt right – it was my glass slipper.
My first trip out with the hat, a tough day with downright miserable weather conditions . I caught a fish – a beautiful steelhead. The superstitious power of this new hat gained momentum. Second trip, thought I’d give the hat another run, selecting it over the other 73 fly fishing related hats I own. Boom, 24″ trout on a streamer in non streamer fishing weather. Ok, there is something to this – the hat is the only constant variable. Everything was different but the hat. A week later, the most wretched, miserable conditions imaginable to pull streamers for trout in – alright Mean Mugging Brown Kast hat, are you really magical?
Since this hat is so lucky, I have begun wearing it to work – I’m certain that I will soon be promoted to Vice President of my company, and receive a raise of at least $1million a year. It is guaranteed that if I were to be pulled over by a police officer for going 75mph in a 35mph zone – he would write himself a ticket for pulling me over, if I’m wearing this hat. If I were to wear this lid into a casino, bet it all on black, I’d surely walk away rich.
I am convinced this hat holds my future success in the balance, I am willing bet if I had this hat back during my college days I’d have been a first round draft pick and still playing in the majors. I suppose that I am okay with settling for life long fishing success instead.