Juiced-up ball bats
Hedgesville assistant coach J.C. Quinn licks the bat prior to the Eagles trying to key a rally against Washington in the Class AAA, Region II baseball tournament. Licking the bat is one of several unique superstitions in the sport. CHARLESTON — Finger
Others take a certain number of warmup swings before a pitch is about to be delivered. Baseball might have the most superstitious of athletes, who are naturally superstitious anyway. Maybe some of the strangest behaviors in terms of superstitions come in baseball. Bridgeport baseball coach coach Robert Shields said as he scouted an opponent to the Indians’ championship game in quest of a fourth Class AA title in a row. Although there might be more-bizarre ones existing somewhere, a very strange one, indeed, exists at Hedgesville. It stems from first-year head coach Aaron Whitford’s playing days at Garrett Community College. An assistant coach would put a huge wad of gum in his mouth, get it all juiced up and then lick the bats to try to start a rally. Hedgesville has carried on the tradition of Garrett CC, and possibly others, when the Eagles need a rally. They really do. See visual evidence on page C-2. Hedgesville scored a run in the inning when the licking started kicking. It didn’t keep ticking, though, as it was Eagles’ second and final run in a 16-2 loss to Washington that sent the Patriots to the capital city for the state final four. Whitford handled the unusual task for several year as an assistant coach, but after taking over the program, handed the duty over to assistant J. C. Quinn. There was really nothing much out of the ordinary while surveying — unscientifically — a few players in the state tournament at Appalachian Power Park: a lucky undershirt or sweatband, the whole avoiding touching the baselines, not a whole lot of... Well, except for Shields said as he watched Weir defeat Wayne in a manner of speaking. What Friel does is put cups over his ears usually while sometimes sticking them over his eyes and nose, providing a cartoonish robot look. Maybe mouth sometimes, too, because Friel is the team’s designated hitter and has plenty of time in the dugout to perfect his craft. Told of Hedgesville’s practice, Shields’ eyes widened as if he was looking for one of Friel’s cups. Somewhere in the discussion, the Bridgeport coach mentioned that he possesses a very veteran group of assistant coaches. Coincidentally as he talked, he put a wad of bubble gum in his mouth. No, that doesn’t mean he’s pondering licking bats, even though he said his team hadn’t hit well earlier Friday in a 4-0 win over James Monroe. He was asked if one of his assistants might give it a shot.
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J. C. Quinn - Wikipedia
J.C. Quinn; Born: John James Quinn Jr. (1940-11-30) November 30, 1940 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States: Died: February 10, 2004 (2004-02-10) (aged 63)
J.C. Quinn - IMDb
J.C. Quinn- Was born in Philadelphia. Studied acting in New York and spent 17 years on Stage before moving to Hollywood to act in films. IMDb
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