Superstitions and baseball go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Nats have worn their postseason blue threads consecutively since winning Game 4 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. They haven't lost since. When asked about wearing the alternate jerseys in the postseason, manager Davey Martinez said, "I'm not superstitious, I'm just a little stitious," quoting The Office.
But ballplayers aren't the only ones with superstitions. With the Washington Nationals advancing to the World Series for the first time in franchise history, many fans are convinced their superstitions are helping the team win. NBC 4 meteorologist Doug Kammerer has been eating chicken wings prior to every game. He was even nice enough to eat his wings before the Washington Mystics won their first-ever WNBA Championship.
I took to Twitter to find Nats fans with some weirder than average superstitions. Read the thread for a good laugh, or to find solidarity in your own superstitions.
Calling all superstitious #Nats fans! Do you have a weird superstition i.e. wearing the same shirt, eating the same food, etc. that you do before Nats games that you think works? Writing a story for @NBCSWashington and want to hear from you! #STAYINTHEFIGHT @NBCSNationals— Caroline Brandt (@caroline__cb) October 17, 2019
Some said talking about superstitions is a superstition within itself, but I couldn't resist sharing some of the best. These replies take the cake:
NBC Sports Washington and Sports Junkies producer Doug McKinney has a laundry list of superstitions that vary depending on the location in which he’s viewing the game. One of which included wearing a blue suit to his wedding Columbus Day weekend to match the Nats’ postseason blue threads.
“When the Nats are on the mound: I’ll have the sound off and will hold - more like squeeze - a baseball,” McKinney said in a private message that he gave permission to share. “I like pacing around the room, using different grips, just trying to make time go faster and get out of the inning so we can hit.”
“When the Nats are at-bat: mute button goes off, I’ll switch out the baseball for a bat. I’ll just swing the bat freely in the air or if it’s an intense inning, I’ll use it as a lightsaber or a golf club.”
Right on, McKinney.
Another private message I received was from a fan who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of germ shaming. "The last time I changed our sheets was the first day of the NLDS," they said. "I have been instructed not to change them. Our kid was sick this week and definitely laid in our bed, but a World Series trumps germ control..."
One fan turned his superstition into a fundraiser for the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation. Matt Natali has pledged to shave his playoff beard he's been growing since 2012 if the Nats win the World Series. He has also not trimmed his beard since the start of the playoffs.
I got a lot of replies about wearing the same outfits, no matter how weird the combination. McKinney wears a blue shirt on game day, and the jersey of the Nats' pitcher during the game. These were a few of my favorite outfit combinations:
I wear the same red muumuu. Not washed since wild card game. Sit in the same chair. Husband makes dinner. Don’t move a muscle unless @FightinHydrant tweets to change seats. Play @BingoBaseball to have fun, stay connected to other fans (I’m in SC now) and stay (kinda) calm.— Karen Rossler (@PeonyMoonDust) October 18, 2019
One fan dresses up her pug J.J. as the pope with various Nationals accessories, including a Nats hat, a shark, and goggles with champagne, my personal favorite.
No. No Superstitions. pic.twitter.com/jXMUAfHj8e— nerdsonparade (@nerdsonparade) October 18, 2019
Pug Pope also pawties when pennants are won pic.twitter.com/V7IQVPPAXU— nerdsonparade (@nerdsonparade) October 18, 2019
Shark accessories are a must, and one fan has a very specific outfit complete with these shark shoes that she found on Amazon during Shark Week.
Picture: pic.twitter.com/vT2RIQNnrM— ⚾️❤🐕Tricia🐕❤⚾️ (@TriciaT831) October 18, 2019
Another favorite was a private message from season ticket holder Jennifer O’Dell, who has saved postseason ticket strips for the past 10 years. After the Nats failed to make the postseason in 2018, Jennifer and her husband Jason Shaffer, decided to burn the unused copies (including World Series tickets) to “cleanse the city and team of all the bad juju,” she said. O’Dell even took a video of it.
“I am responsible for the Nats making the World Series I think!” she said.
Another season ticket holder admittedly decided to add only $25 to her Nats' e-cash before the Wild Card Game instead of her usual $100 in fear of losing money if the Nats didn't advance. She's been adding only $25 to her pass prior to postseason playoff games ever since.
As a season plan holder we can add funds to our accounts, e-cash to use in special lines for concessions. I have been adding $25 prior to each home playoff game. I will continue to do this before each WS game!— Terri B (@NatsGal) October 18, 2019
One fan has been eating the breakfast of champions ever since Alex Ovechkin threw out the first pitch at NLDS Game 4 against the Dodgers.
Another fan has turned to a rally apple for luck. It's even been to L.A.!
I had this in my bag at the wild card game and was too nervous to eat it. Brought it again to LA game 4 (same apple). After that, I started carrying it every game day, home or away. The #RallyApple is undefeated! pic.twitter.com/dj9WHc6vyV— Theresa Sullivan (@tasullivan1) October 18, 2019
Media members have been lucky enough to see the celebration and fanfare up close, such as NBC Sports Washington's Savannah McCann, who had an outfit malfunction during the Wild Card Game that led to superstition, and quite a few ruined outfits.
I can’t bring rain gear anticipating a champagne shower (forgot for the wildcard game and I’m too afraid to start now)... 3 ruined outfits later still have no regrets 🤷🏼♀️— Savannah McCann (@savjaye) October 18, 2019
I received many replies with homemade shrines:
Well... yes, it rather is 😂 pic.twitter.com/QEXZ06TXIw— Laura Shir (@shirhallelujah) October 17, 2019
My husband @Matt_Jones set up this shrine...complete with Jobu...during Game 5 of the NLDS right before Rendon and Soto’s back-to-back home runs. Nats have been undefeated ever since. We are leaving it up for the World Series. pic.twitter.com/YrcunOB8ZE— Emily Jones (@wooebj96) October 18, 2019
I wear my Baseball Keds: white shoes with red baseball seams. Cold, rain, it doesn’t matter. The Baseball Shoes rule. And while I’ll proudly wear an ex-Nat’s shirt it jersey during the season, NOT in post season. Only the current Nats. And we make a shrine, like this: pic.twitter.com/HhaYBIzG8Q— Jane Beard (@JaneBIVL) October 18, 2019
One good luck locust:
Some oddly specific meal plans:
One Keurig pod of fall coffee from the value box I bought from Big Lots with 1 Netflix produced horror movie before every game. Has not failed me yet!— Kyle Deppe (@KyleDeppePhoto) October 18, 2019
Before every game at Nats park I’ve gone to in the playoffs I’ve eaten at All Purpose at 5:15. I’m so sick of pizza, but I’m 3-0, you bet I’m not messing with that before the WS game.— Sam McGrath (@NotSamMcG) October 17, 2019
Wear the same shirt. if I Eat cracker jacks at the game but only when they are on offense usually good for a couple of runs.— Patty & doggos (@pmacewan) October 18, 2019
Tall hot chocolate with almond milk and no whip + a plain bagel!! This is the playlist: https://t.co/ak6xaR4RZJ (I always start with Calma, then Look Ahead, then Victorious, then Kings & Queens, and only after that do I shuffle it 🙈)— pour one out for bernard (@holtbyeet) October 18, 2019
I've been wearing the same ring (purchased in Scotland during the 10-game winning streak years ago) to every baseball game since then--and never when I am not seeing a baseball game. It has a small (low-quality) ruby, so at least it's a red stone. Does it work? Can't hurt, right?— Laura Peebles (@ArVaFan55) October 18, 2019
Here’s the other thing...I’ve worn this jewelry to every game starting with the Phillies series the last week of the season. No need to change it now!!! pic.twitter.com/lY4k2Z4hNu— Terri B (@NatsGal) October 18, 2019
Beary has to watch every game. When extra power is needed, like during rallies, he sits on someone’s head. If it’s Max pitching, my son Max holds him to send extra good vibes on the Max to Max network. pic.twitter.com/uxOMihG09R— Ami Bo (@amibo1012) October 18, 2019
My high school government teacher Jennifer Rodgers even chimed in, saying she’s noticed a correlation between students’ homework completion and the Nats winning, kind of like a snow day.
I've noticed a direct correlation between my students' homework completion and the Nats winning. When all or most students do their homework, the Nats win 😜. Same is true for snow days.— Jennifer Rodgers (@MrsRodgersDHS) October 17, 2019
I have to say, the inspiration for this article was my die-hard Nats fan dad. During the Caps’ Stanley Cup run while down two games to the Columbus Blue Jackets in round one, for some unknown reason, he thought to put a paper towel roll in our coat rack, and the rest is history. He decided to repeat the superstition with the Nats this postseason hoping the luck would carry over and so far, it has. When I told him I was writing this article, he disclosed his secret superstition. Additionally, he reps a Caps t-shirt while watching every Nats game.
It's only crazy if it doesn't work...right, Nats fans?
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