Massachusetts Team Might Be First in Baseball History to Pull Uniform Trick
Ask anyone who has played Little League baseball and they will remember wearing rally caps in an attempt to mount a massive comeback late in a game.
For those of you who did not play, a player will turn their hat inside-out and wear it backward on their head.
In Worcester, however, they are taking the concept of rally caps to a whole new level.
Several years ago, the general manager of the Worcester Bravehearts (a summer collegiate baseball team similar to the now-defunct New Bedford Bay Sox) decided to wear a special rally blazer when his team was trailing late in the game.
"It's like one of those ugly plaid jackets that Monty Hall would wear on 'Let's Make A Deal,'" says Dave Peterson. "The house DJ puts on Bonnie Tyler's 'I Need A Hero' and I dance around the stands in the jacket to get the crowd going."
Last year, they took it a step further with the playing of "Tequila." During a mounting rally, the song is started and paused just before the pitcher releases the ball. As soon as the play is dead, "Tequila" starts up again exactly where the song left off.
When the song is paused, Peterson also pauses no matter what he happens to be doing for a dance. Eventually, the crowd behind the plate catches on and it can become a distraction to opposing pitchers.
"When we started doing this last year, the crowds went crazy and it was actually really effective," says Peterson. "There were errors all over the place, there were back-to-back walks. They couldn't throw strikes or throw the ball around the infield."
This season, the team will do something they believe no other baseball team has ever done in the history of the game. When they are losing in the middle of the eighth inning, they will quickly change their uniform shirts to "rally jerseys."
As you can imagine, the uniforms are inspired by Peterson's ugly, plaid rally blazer.
The season starts next week. With baseball being the most superstitious game of them all, you can be sure other teams will closely monitor the results the rally jerseys bring.