Baseball is a game of superstitions. Players won’t talk to a pitcher while he’s throwing a no-hitter for fear of jinxing it. Some big leaguers will refuse to shave after winning a post-season game (a trend borrowed from the burley NHL). One of the most commonly believed superstitions is that teams go on streaks.
Of course, teams win or lose several games in a row all the time. The idea of a streak runs deeper than that. When a team is on a hot streak, it’s almost as if some other force is at work. And the opposite can be true as well. When a team is in a slump, players will try just about anything to get rid of the perceived bad luck.
I looked up some of baseball’s longest streaks, both good and bad. No reason, other than to see if the good streaks outweighed the bad or vice versa. The longest winning streak in baseball belongs to the 1916 New York Giants, who won (or tied) 26 games in a row. In 2002, the Oakland A’s won 20 games in a row, an American League record.
And what of the losers? They may be on going to their second World Series in a row, but back in 1961, the Philadelphia Phillies were woefully awful. According to the stat maniacs at Baseball Reference, the Phillies dropped 23 games in a row that season, finishing 47-107. Needless to say, they didn’t win any championships that year.
What are some other impressive streaks in pro sports? And what do you think of superstitions in baseball? Do you believe in ‘em or are they just a bunch of hooey? Throw some salt over your shoulder and leave me a comment below.
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