In the summer of 1993, as I was leaning over a railing at Shea and picking up a ball, Phillies reliever Mitch Williams ran over and kicked it out of my glove.
“What the hell did you do that for?!” I yelled.
“Y’already got two,” he said and marched off.
Actually, I had three, but that’s not the point. The point is that I had every right to grab that ball, and he robbed me for no good reason.
So I jinxed him.
Nothing happened at first. In fact, he went on to save a career-high 43 games that year, and his team reached the playoffs–but I knew his time would come. After all, I’d given him the official Hample Jinx.
Sure enough, with a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game Six of the World Series, Williams gave up a three-run homer to Joe Carter. Series over. Blue Jays won. Phillies lost.
Soon after, Williams started receiving death threats (not from me) and vandals egged his home…all because of one practice ball months earlier at Shea Stadium.
I hope it was worth it, Mitch.
(THE NON-BA§EBALL TRAVEL UPDAT€, DAY 3: Thè kéyböards în Frànçé ârè wéird. I’m glàd I broµght mÿ £aptôp béçaü§è thîs w°uld stàrt tô drïvé mè çrâzÿ.)