Sammy Sosa and the Dalai Lama

How a self-fulfilling prophecy is a prophecy none-the-less
Sammy Sosa sported the same pair of worn-out socks one homerun-filled September. Hall of Famer Wade Boggs ate the same meal of fried chicken and eggs before every single game during the postseason. And Chicago Cubs slugger Moises Alou has been reported to urinate on his callused hands before stepping into the dugout during the pennant race.

It’s no secret: Baseball players are the most superstitious athletes of any professional sport. While these seemingly peculiar traits have become commonplace in the MLB, it begs the question: Do these quirks give the ball an extra lift over the center field fence? Or more zip on the ball when throwing a man out at first?

The answer is, seemingly, yes. It would be a difficult task to persuade Hall of Famers to change their pre-game rituals, strange as they might seem.

Now, how do these eccentricities relate to the Dalai Lama? Self-determination. Wearing holey socks in late October, though perhaps impractical, reinforced self-confidence in Sosa while he was slicing the air with his powerful swing. The Dalai Lama was raised in self-determination. In other words; he was raised since infancy to truly believe he was the reincarnation of the previous 14 Dali Lamas, and has inarguably acted in the same fashion. Since the Dali Lama was one year old he was raised in sacred temples by hundreds of monks who bowed in his presence and addressed him as “your holiness.” They instructed him with great reverence in the idea that his body was merely a vessel of the previous Dalai Lama.

Sadly, we don’t have time to delve into Tibetan Buddhism or the reincarnation the Dalai Lama, but his holiness does reinforce this concept of self-determination: All this to say, for those who are skeptical, this is a steadfast example that reinforces truth to a self-fulfilling prophecy. If sitting at the same table in a restaurant and chowing down the same order of fried chicken and eggs made Wade Boggs believe he would be better able to field zingers down the third base line, who’s to say it didn’t? If Sosa gave more fans sitting in the left field stands souvenirs that September, perhaps his lucky socks was just what gave the ball an extra lift.

Whatever your position on reincarnation, raising the 15th Dalai Lama to steadfastly believe he was what his sacred garments stood for, it has indeed made him one of the most self-assured and dutiful holy men to ever lead the Tibetan Buddhists.

Some might scoff at Sosa’s sticky socks. Or turn up their noses literally at Moises Alou’s unapologetic method for toughing up his callused hands. Whatever your position, Sosa, Alou, and Boggs are all great players. And the 15th Dalai Lama has remained one of most beloved and dutiful holy men ever to grace his position.

Do you agree these seemly superstitious quirks helped? We’d love to hear your comments, whatever stance you take!

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