Strange Magic: Superstition and the Houston Astros
Aug 11, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Domingo Santana (13) reacts after striking out during the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
#13 – You’d think with athletes being superstitious, they’d stay away from the ominous number. However, notable Astros Billy Wagner and Turk Farrell are a couple of players to wear the “unlucky” digits in Houston. Did it affect them?
Wagner had a spectacular career in the Bayou City, setting franchise record for Saves (225) and making three All-Star appearances. “The Kid” is up for the Hall of Fame ballot this year. Farrell also had a fairly successful time in Houston from 1962-67, though his record doesn’t show it. He posted a 53-64 record with a 3.41 ERA, 1.137 WHIP and 3.08 FIP.
Most recently, Astros prospect Domingo Santana donned the number in 2014. These guys apparently scoff at the idea of superstition.
The Helmet: Craig Biggio’s batting helmet holds a special place in Houston Astros lore. It was a dirty, nasty monstrosity that looked like it had never been washed in it’s life. Who could blame Mr. Astro for wearing it when he had a remarkable career at three different positions while having 50 SB/ 50 double season, racking up 3060 hits, and earning his spot in Cooperstown. Some Houston fans have suggested that it would be fitting as the cap for his Hall of Fame plaque. Here’s a short video discussing Biggio’s famous helmet.
The Jetsons T-Shirt: Charlie Kerfeld was known as a different kind of dude on the mid-1980s Astros squads. He liked punk rock and slam dancing, and he wore an earring. He earned some notoriety for asking for 37 boxes of Jell-o when he signed a contract. But that’s not all!
Kerfeld wore his “lucky” Jetsons t-shirt under his uniform when he pitched (if you don’t remember the cartoon, the dog was named Astro). Unfortunately for Charlie, he didn’t last too long on the team – about three seasons – as he battled with arm problems and keeping his weight under control. Ruh-roh!
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