J. D. Thorne, speaker and author of the new book Baseball’s Winning Ways  (Available on Amazon Books).

“Ring the Bell”

Milwaukee Brewer’s first-base coach, Quentin Berry, decided to install a large bell in the dugout.  The idea is for the player to ring it after a good play, like after a home run.  In the next six games the Brewers sent hits over the wall for home runs twenty (20) times, setting an all-time record. The bell has been rung so often and so vigorously, already it has been twice broken and repaired!

So guess what?  The Brewers are going on the road, and they plan to bring the bell with them!

This reminds me of a story told by the great HOF player and manager, Ty Cobb, in 1926 in a book called, Hitting.  Cobb was discussing, “superstition” in baseball.  Of course, ballplayers are notoriously superstitious.  For example, when Cobb himself swung bats to warm up in the on deck circle, he always swung three bats, not two.

He wrote that one season when he was managing the Tigers of Detroit, a stray mutt ambled by accident into the team clubhouse.  He wagged his tail, and played with the players who petted him.  The equipment manager gave the pooch some water and something to eat.  All was good.  The players were in a good mood when they went out to play.  Sure enough, they won.  So, the dog stayed in the clubhouse for the next day too.  Of course, the team won again.

Soon when the Tigers went on the road, the equipment man was told to bring the dog on the train.  The team kept winning. Once the players reasoned he would be even better luck in the dugout itself, not just in the Clubhouse?  But that theory did not prove out, so back went the dog to the clubhouse.  However, overall it was a successful road trip.

Trouble presented itself on the next road trip.  The equipment man forgot to bring the dog!  The players panicked!  In their fury, they insisted that Cobb fire the equipment manager for so egregious an error. Cobb wouldn’t do it, but back to Detroit the equipment manager went to get the dog.  Unfortunately, the charm was broken.  The dog returned, but the team kept losing.

So, how long will the bell be magic for the Brewer bats?


Sporting Chance Press includes books on sports including baseball. Our baseball books:

The 10 Commandments of Baseball: An Affectionate Look at Joe McCarthy’s Principles for Baseball (and Life)  also by J. D. Thorne

Public Bonehead, Private Hero: The Real Legacy of Baseball’s Fred Merkle

Baseball’s Winning Ways