Baseball is a sport filled with crazy traditions, rituals, and superstitions. We’ve scoured the deepest and darkest corners of the sport to bring you these strange baseball traditions from around the country.
Strange Baseball Traditions From Around the Country
Sausage Races – Milwaukee Brewers
The only kind of racing most fans expect to see in a game of baseball is a player racing around the bases. However, there has been a different kind of racing going on at the Milwaukee Brewers home games for the past couple of decades. This race between giant sausages first began back in the early 1990s, and only took place on certain Sundays. It was initially a virtual race put up onto the big screen. However, the year 2000 marked the first time that the sausages came to life and started to perform actual foot races during the sixth inning.
There are now five giant sausages that you can catch racing around the stadium during each home game. It became such a hit sensation that it led to spinoff events at other stadiums, such as the racing presidents at the Washington Nationals’ home games.
Bleacher Creatures’ Roll Call – New York Yankees
It is not unusual for a player’s name to get announced as they come onto the field. However, having the fans announce the names is something that you can only find at Yankee Stadium. Dating back to 1997, this passionate display of fandom is led by the King of the so-called Bleacher Creatures, Bald Vinny Milano.
At the top of the first inning for each home game, Milano will yell out the name of each outfielder and infielder, which is followed by the rest of the Bleacher Creatures loudly chanting the name until the players give some sort of acknowledgment.
Crazy Hot Dog Vendor – Reading Fightin Phils
We have to go to the minor league for this specific brand of zany. It takes a special kind of person to create a character persona that will end up being beloved by thousands of fans for years to come. In Reading, that person was the director of graphic arts and game entertainment for the Fightin Phils. Matt Jackson would come out during home games, dressed as a goofy-looking old-timey hot dog vendor riding an ostrich. While the ostrich might not have been real, the excitement that the fans felt was. This tradition has carried on, even though Jackson is no longer the face behind the crazy hot dog vendor.
Disappearing Lighthouse – Portland Sea Dogs
Staying in the minor leagues, at Hadlock Field you can see a bit of Maine pride each time their beloved team, the Portland Sea Dogs, gets a home run or wins the game. A giant lighthouse rises from behind the centerfield fence, accompanied by a foghorn and several lit roman candles. It lasts for only a few seconds, and then it disappears once again until the next time it is needed.
Sweet Caroline – Boston Red Sox
This might not seem strange since it has been a part of Fenway Park for over 15 years now. However, the famous Neil Diamond song being the unofficial theme for the Boston Red Sox is anything but normal. Before the bottom of the eighth inning in each home game, Sweet Caroline will come onto the speakers and blast throughout the stadium as the crowd emphatically sings along. Ba, ba, ba!
Drumming Fan – Cleveland Indians
The pounding in their hearts is not the only pounding that fans will hear at a Cleveland Indians home game. Thanks to the now infamous John Adams and his trusty drum, the steady beating has been heard at every home game since 1973.
Themed Road Trips – Tampa Bay Rays
This is the only tradition on this list that does not take place at home games. Instead, the Tampa Bay Rays have used their road games, for the past decade, as an opportunity to demonstrate some unusual themed outfits. Past examples have included camouflage, Woodstock, and tuxedos.
Rally Monkey – Los Angeles Angels
Who doesn’t love monkeys? You better love them if you are going to attend a home game at Edison International Field of Anaheim, because there is a white-haired capuchin monkey that is more beloved than even most of the players. This monkey came to be known as the Rally Monkey, and first made his debut in 2000. Now, he shows up whenever the Angels are falling behind in the late innings so that the crowd will become electric and help the Angels pull out a win.
Home Run Train – Houston Astros
This definitely gets the award for one of the most random choices of traditions on this list. For some reason, back in 2000, the Houston Astros decided that they would install a replica train in their stadium which would put on a little show after every Astros home run. The train has become extremely popular in recent years, and is cheered on by the fans each time it makes its 40-second trip from one end of the stadium to the other.
Bernie Brewer’s Slide – Milwaukee Brewers
Making their second appearance on this list, the Brewers go above and beyond to make sure that their home games are as entertaining as possible. Their mascot Bernie Brewer has gone through a lot of transitions over the years, with his infamous dive into a mug of beer being cancelled. Then brought back. And then cancelled again. Now Bernie Brewer gets to hang out in his own raised dugout until a home run is scored, at which point he slides down a long yellow slide and enters what is now called the Splash Zone.
What are some other strange baseball traditions you’ve seen or heard of? Let us know if the comment section below.
And if you liked this post, make sure to check out these other baseball articles from the Sporcle Blog.
- Why Does “K” Stand for Strikeout in Baseball?
- The History of Baseball
- Why Do We Have a Seventh Inning Stretch?
- Teams That Haven’t Won a World Series
- The Worst Home Run Derby Performances