Sport: Magic on the Mound

Baseball players, like witch doctors, are a mighty superstitious lot. Take Gaylord Jackson Perry, 27, who pitches for the San Francisco Giants. Righthander Perry really likes steak, but his wife once gave him baked chicken before he went out to pitch. He won. So then it was chicken every workday. In the dugout before each game, he grabs the bat rack and gives it a shake—which puts the whammy on enemy batters. Before every inning, he runs out to the mound at full speed. Before a key pitch, he studiously turns his back to...

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