Laughing Through Life: June 27, 2012

Andrew Henderson

Holy cow, Phil Rizzuto! I have time to write a column!

How ‘bout that, Mel Allen?

This week we are going to continue to look at my all-time-weird-cool-funny-and-any-other-adjective-you-can-think-of baseball team.

Sadly, the last time I wrote about the infielders on my all-adjective team, the Cardinals were in first place. Now, they are in third place.

Here’s hoping that when this hits the streets Wednesday that the Redbirds are back where they belong!

This week, we’re going to take a look at the outfielders on the list.

After much contemplation, I decided to select three outfielders…since three outfielders play in the game. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

My first selection is Kevin Rhomberg, a Cleveland Indian who played just 41 games in parts of three seasons from 1982 to 1984.

Rhomberg was perhaps the most superstitious baseball player in a sport that is known for its chicken-eating, black licorice chewing routines and rituals.

And with Rhomberg, it’s hard to limit it to just one superstition.

Perhaps his most peculiar and brilliant superstition was that if someone touched him, he had to touch that person back, which, as you can imagine, could lead to some odd situations.

If he were tagged out while running the bases, Rhomberg would be compelled to touch the opposing player back. He would wait, however, until the defense was clearing the field at inning’s end. At that point, he would chase down the player who touched him. He did so while grinning and giggling. Okay, that last part is not true, but it would be funny — and scary — if it was true.

There is no historical basis for this, but I got to believe he was the least touched person in all of baseball.

And he probably never experienced the weird and awkward sports-related tradition of having a teammate slap him on his behind!

In addition to the touching thing, Rhomberg refused to make right turns while on the field. The reasoning? Because baserunners are always turning left.

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