Little League Baseball: Rich with Rituals

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — The 16 teams playing in the Little League World Series had to win a lot of games to make it to South Williamsport.

Some of those teams have rituals or traditions they do before each game for good luck. Baseball can be a very superstitious game, and the Little League World Series is no exception.

Some kids said they wear the same socks for each game, and some put their uniforms on a certain way. For some of these teams, the rituals have worked out quite well.

It is a tradition, before every game the Little League team from Kearney, Nebraska plays, to say a prayer.

“Typically it’s just saying thanks for what we’ve been able to experience. We’ve been blessed, to say the least,” said Brad Wegner, Midwest Manager.

Praying is one of many pre-game rituals teams have at the Little League World Series. Many of the teams relied on rituals to win the games needed to get to the World Series and many are superstitious, like team West. They have Ted, a five-year-old fan from Petaluma, California.

“Every tournament, we’ve been rubbing his head and we’ve constantly been winning and winning,” said Kempton Brandis of Team West.

Ted was not able to come to the Little League World Series so the team improvised to keep the ritual going strong.

“We got this picture from Ted’s dad, and it is a picture of another person rubbing his head. We all rub the picture. We hang it up inside the dugout,” said Brandis.

Team West also has a sign inside their dorm room that says “play like champions.”

“We slap it every time we go play a game, and we always do play like champions when we hit it,” said James O’hanlon of Team West.

“Can’t break the mojo on that at all. It’s just been something that’s carried over, and we’ve won 22 games,” said Trevor Tomei, West Coach.

We asked the kids on Team West if we could take video of them rubbing the picture of Ted’s head. They said “no way” because that would mean breaking the ritual, but the kids did say if they would not do these rituals before their games, they would still play like champions anyway.