Baseball players are infamous for their shameless superstitions, rituals, and quirks. Even those unfamiliar with the sport often recognize the strange tendencies of its players, and Florida Gator outfielder Buddy Reed is no exception to this rule.
Reed, a New York-bred sophomore, played in 60 games his freshman year alone. But he won’t solely credit raw talent or hard work for his accomplishments – instead, he references his numerous superstitions, beginning with his repetitive pre-game snacks.
“Before each game, I’ve got to eat candy, whether it’s skittles, lifesavers, chocolate, Rips…you name it, I’ve got to have it. And I’ll always have a cup of fruit punch and a cup of lemonade, no water for me. I’ve got to eat cantaloupe before every game too. I’ll usually eat my meal, and then I’ll get a bowl of cantaloupe and that’s it for me.”
But sugar isn’t the only thing that gets Reed’s head in the game. He also insists that getting one’s juices flowing is another secret ingredient in his recipe for a good game.
“I’ve got to dance before games. I always listen to the same couple Michael Jackson songs while I’m dancing, and that gets the juices going.”
Reed will also exclusively warm up his throws with the same player before game time – and no one else.
“Before the games I always throw with the same person, regardless of whether he’s sick or anything, I have to find him and we have to throw together. I just have to.”
Rigid as Reed’s pre-game routine may sound, he also appreciates the lighthearted side of the sport just as much, if not more.
“I have to laugh every time before I step out on the field for a good amount of time. That’s how I am – I’m goofy, excited. I like to be loose before I play, which the coaches stress a lot. That’s what gets me loose.”
He holds firm to the concept that his superstitions are beneficial, and that without them he wouldn’t be supporting his team. Reed recognizes that while they may seem tedious, his tasks serve to better himself in order to beat the rival.
“It’s always good to have solid superstitions. If you can create a routine with them, I believe you can come out on top, simply because you’re so focused on your own habits that you won’t be worried about anyone else. It’s just you and your routine and then it’s game time.”