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Wake Up Call: Fiery bat exorcism is only way to end a hitting slump

May 27, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

batburning copy

We take you now to Arrowhead Credit Union Park in San Bernardino, CA, where the Inland Empire 66ers (Class-A California League Angels affiliate) are mired in a particularly worrisome losing streak. After hitting rock bottom with a 17-2 loss to Visalia, some players are driven to desperate measures. And so, a bat-purifying ritual takes place just outside the stadium, as players load some of their game bats into a trash can and attempt to summon Jobu with copious amounts of lighter fluid. From’s Benjamin Hill, who happened to be there:

Before lighting this mess ablaze, veteran southpaw Harold Williams gave a speech about how this fire symbolized a fresh start. It was a surprisingly somber and serious affair (to me, at least), but losing is no fun so I can appreciate how miserable these guys had been recently.

Burn, burn, yes you’re gonna burn!

The fire lasted just long enough for the grounds crew to smell it and blast it with a fire extinguisher. But did it work?

The 66ers went out on Monday night and scored five runs in the first inning, highlighted by back-to-back-to-back home runs by Michael Wing, Cody Haerther and Kole Calhoun. Meanwhile, a trio of pitchers kept the Rawhide offense in check, and the 66ers rolled to a 7-1 win.

I have a newfound faith in the power of baseball voodoo.


What you missed while working the stripper pole on the NYC ‘L’ train


The beavers furiously attempt to build a more interesting plot.

  1. cleanslaton - May 27, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    Bats, they are sick. I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats. I offer him cigar, rum. He will come.
    -Pedro Cerrano