Travis Shaw, an Ohio native and die-hard Ohio State football fan, has been doing a bang-up job this season as the starting third baseman for the Boston Red Sox. After winning the job from overpriced free-agent acquisition Pedro Sandoval in spring training, Shaw is hitting .322 with four home runs and 23 RBI.
On Monday night, Shaw collected three hits and scored three runs in a 14-7 win over the Oakland A's. Little did he know he had done all that with a sticker representing Michigan, Ohio State's most hated rival, inside his helmet.
The sticker was put there by Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield, a huge Michigan fan. On Tuesday, once again with the sticker inside his helmet, Shaw drove in five runs and finished a triple shy of the cycle.
Allow WEEI's Rob Bradfordto explain the situation, with some help from Shaw himself.
“Last night after the game Butter came up to my locker with a big smirk on his face,” the Red Sox infielder said after his team’s 13-5 win over the A’s. “I had no clue what he was smirking about. He said, ‘Did you look in your helmet?’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said there was a Wolverine sticker in there. I got three hits last night, so we’ll leave it in there. Maybe it pisses me off enough to go out there and get hits.”
The Red Sox infielder has a Buckeye sticker on the butt of his bats, the same stickers he had previously defaced Butterfield’s Michigan helmet with earlier this season.
“I guess he got me back,” Shaw said.
This is locker room hi-jinks at their finest, and proof that fierce rivalries never die.
If Shaw is as superstitious as most baseball players are, he's going to have to keep that Michigan sticker in its place all season.
[ NESN ]