May 10, 2010
by Andrew Joseph, Features Editor
I like baseball. I’ve been a fan before Toronto got a team (Pittsburgh Pirates), and enjoy the statistics surrounding the game as much as I like watching ball meet bat.
Along with the statistics, the game is also historically filled with wacky individuals who: talk to the baseball (Mark The Bird Fidrych), like to brush their teeth between innings, (Turk Wendell); jump over chalk lines (most of’em); burn their uniforms to rid themselves of bad mojo (Damaso Garcia); or simply go through a 20-second glove adjustments and toe-tapping antics between every pitch making pitchers and fans antsy (Nomar Garciaparra).
Then there are the curses… the Babe Ruth Red Sox curse; The Curse of the Billy Goat and the Cubs; and the Sports Illustrated (SI) magazine cover curse.
Unlike Dr. Hook and their happy appearance on the cover of The Rolling Stone, individuals and teams that appear on the SI cover are jinxed with losses or injuries.
The year 2010 has been particularly hard on SI cover athletes: three prominent NFLers appeared separately on covers lost their next play-off game; NCAA undefeated Kentucky Wildcat’s basketball player John Wall appeared only to have his team lose the next week; and then there’s U.S. Olympian and downhill skier, Lindsey Vonn who injured herself badly in a crash later that week. Less publicized, however is Vonn’s Gold Medal win in the Winter Olympics – actually, that was pretty well publicized… so you’d think the curse would be dead, right?
In late April 2010, four members of the New York Yankees made the cover – the supposed ‘core four’ of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Petitte.
Within one week of their cover shot, all but Jeter fell prey to the injury bug.
In a sacrifice play, the good folks at Sealed Air, headquartered in Saddlebrook, NJ and makers of the iconic Bubble Wrap, have sent along a large roll of the stuff to the New York Yankees captain in an effort to keep the all-star player safe from harm. Yeah – wrap him in Bubble Wrap!