Nugget of Knowledge: Superstition and the baseball no-hitter


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Talking about a no-hitter will jinx it, usually within minutes.

Most baseball fans would advise you not to mess with it, even in fun, but it happens often enough.

In June 2012, Jarrod Parker of the Oakland A’s was in the fifth inning of a no-hitter. Then, the Major League Baseball’s Twitter feed mentioned the no-hitter, and in the eighth inning, the Texas Rangers’ Michael Young hit a single.

Many fans on Twitter believed that tweet jinxed Parker’s no-hitter.

So does saying it in cyberspace count?

In 1947, Yankees pitcher Bill Bevens had only one out remaining before completing the first no-hitter in World Series history. The Yankees’ broadcaster, Red Barber, mentioned this, and the Dodgers immediately got a hit and went on to win the game.

Yankee fans, of course, were furious.

Broadcasters today have to be creative. Announcer Dewayne Staats of the Tampa Bay Rays said he’ll talk around it, saying, “We have something special building here,” or other small clues.

The pitcher’s teammates leave him alone during a no-hitter. They won’t talk to him or interact with their pitcher, allowing him to focus on his game.

So that’s the “baseball code,” but in this day of social media, some fans say that mentioning a no-hitter is OK, as long as you’re not in the stadium or anywhere near it.

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