PHOTO: Minor league baseball team bring alligator to field for luck
What do an alligator, the California Baseball League, 1978, and Joe Charboneau have in common? Maybe you should ask the alligator, who was on-hand as a special guest for the Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks) vs. Lancaster JetHawks (Astros) Advanced-A playoff game Friday night (via @DonnyBaarns)
— Donny Baarns (@DonnyBaarns) September 13, 2014
According to Yahoo! Sports Big League Stew Mark Townsend, it all makes sense (?)
Visalia — the current Class A Advanced affliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks —has not won the California League championship since 1978 when former American League Rookie of the Year Joe Charboneau was on the team. During that season Charboneau acquired a pet alligator named Chopper, which lived in his bathtub until he returned home for the offseason. Unfortunately, Chopper died later that year while under the watch of a teammate, and for reasons we’re not sure can be explained, Chopper’s spirit is now viewed as the force behind their misfortune.
The promotion didn’t seem to work as Lancaster evened the series at 1-1 with a 3-0 victory. The alligator must have ate all the Rawhides bats.
I’ve heard of Billy Goat curses, the Curse of the Bambino, but have never heard of the Chopper Curse. I guess those in Visalia have been living it for 35 years!
– David Whitlock
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