Baseball’s superstitions are well-known and no player is so high and mighty to call them absolute bunk, not even Derek Jeter.
Yes, the Hall of Famer and former Yankees captain went to superstitious extremes in his lauded career. He appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and confessed he once wore a gold thong to break out of a hitting slump.
Playing with singer Rita Ora, Jeter’s prompt was simple enough: “I once wore a thong in front of thousands of people.”
Keep in mind, every Yankees fan remembers the gold thong. It was Jason Giambi’s and he swore it magically cured any and all hitting slumps. The Giambino also claimed Jeter once wore it to break a long slog he suffered through in 2004.
But now, we have the Captain himself on record. He wore the gold thong to break out of that very slump. The best part is neither Rita Ora nor Jimmy Fallon believed him.
“It’s the truth,” Jeter said, then smiling and adding, “I’m going to ultimately regret playing this game.”
But, being the good sport, he gave all the details.
“I had a new teammate that I played with in 2002, and he always had a gold thong hanging from his locker. And he told me, ‘Anytime you struggle, you wear the gold thong. You’re guaranteed to get a hit.’ I thought the guy was crazy.
Then in 2004, I went through the worst offensive stretch of my career. And every day I’d walk in, he’d point at the thong. So finally, I wore the thong. First pitch, home run.”
Anyone who’s played baseball at any level has a story like this. Little Leaguers have lucky socks. We know Wade Boggs’ lore all too well.
Jeter and Giambi had the gold thong. Now, they just need to give it to Aaron Hicks.
But not before a good and thorough washing, of course.