Strange Magic: Superstition and the Houston Astros

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Jul 30, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Former Boston Red Sox pitcher

Roger Clemens

acknowledges the fans during pre-game ceremonies prior to a game against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Clemens – The Rocket is a Texas baseball deity. He is a Longhorn legend who proved his stuff over 24 Major League Seasons. Two-time World Series Champion, 7-time Cy Young Award Winner. And those three seasons in Houston were a magical time for Astros fans as the team reached new heights. Of course you’d expect a man like this to have some peculiarities, right?

Everyone knows that he would rub his head and then rub the Babe Ruth plaque outside of Yankee Stadium, and that his four boys all have names that start with K (K= strikeout in baseball). But this takes things to a whole different level:

During his time with the New York Yankees, the seven time Cy Young Award winner had a trainer put liniment on his testicles after stepping out of the hot tub before pitching. Clemens snorted like a bull afterwards, and that’s when you knew he was ready to go. There’s no word on if he did that in Houston, but why stop in New York City?

Moises Alou – Alou was a really good player throughout his career in the Major Leagues. He even hit .355 with 30 HRs for the Astros in 2000, one of his best seasons.

One of the things he was known for was that he did not wear batting gloves. He must be a tough guy, so that doesn’t seem too strange, does it? How about this: he toughened up his hands by urinating on them.

"Alou says the secret to hitting without batting gloves is to harden your hands and prevent calluses. One of his methods might win someone the prize money on the TV show, “Fear Factor.” He urinates on his hands. That’s the honest truth. Alou said he isn’t sure where he learned this distasteful folk medicine, but it wasn’t from his famous father. And it works for Moises."

Remember that the next time you’re in line for autograph.

Next: Beware!