From The Sporting News, July 21, 1900
In The International League:
BELIEVES IN SIGNS
[Jay A.] Andrews, the Bisons’ Third Baseman, Is a Superstitious Fellow
It is a well know fact that most ball players are superstitious, but when it comes down to the real thing, Doctor Andrews, who plays Buffalo’s third base so well, is probably the most superstitious of’em all.
One of Andrew’s queer hobbies is that the bats must be crossed when they lie in front of the bench. On the occasion of the first Indianapolis-Buffalo game Andrews called a turn that that opened the eyes of the Bisons. Just as Sheron, who was the first man up, stepped to the plate to bat, Andrews happened to look at the pile of bats and at once jumped into the air, at the same time shouting: “Four runs this time. It’s cinch. Never failed yet.”
“Sit down; you’re crazy,” replied Dan Shannon, who was just a bit nervous.
“I tell you we’re going to get four runs this time. Do you see that?” he asked, pointing to the pile of bats.
“See what?” asked Shannon.
“Why, those four bats sticking out further than the rest. That means we’ll get just that many runs. Just you wait and see.” Everybody coughed, but “Doc” was evidently very much in earnest , so they waited, all thinking how they’d kid the third baseman when the side was out. Then Shearon made a hit.
“Here’s the starter,” cried Andrews, rubbing his hands. “The next man’ll get his base on an error,” and so he did. Magoon fumbled the ball while Gettman went to first and Shearon perched on second.
“There’s three hits coming,” remarked Andrews, as he picked out a bat. Just then Billy Hallman cracked out a hit and brought Shearon in, while Shannon was forced to crack a smile as Andrews poked him in the ribs, Carey went to bat and hit safely and scored Gettman.
“Watch me!” said Andrews, as he ran to the plate, The first ball pitched he cracked for a hit, and as he stood on first he yelled, “Didn’t I tell you?” to Shannon. Andrews went out at second, but a moment later Carey came trotting home on Knoll’s long fly, making the fourth run.
“Whenever you see bats fixed that way, look out for runs,” observed Andrews.
“All right,” replied Shannon. “Shove out about six of those sticks and we’ll win sure, Halligan.”
“That doesn’t go. Don’t touch’em for Heavens sake,” fairly screamed Andrews. “The bat boy has to do it when he isn’t thinking.”
The players all had a good laugh over the circumstances and, no doubt, some of them became coverts to Andrew’s base ball religion.
Second baseman Billy Hamilton, in discussing base ball superstition in general and the Andrews variety in particular, recently said: “Any player will feel good if he sees a load of barrels on the way to the grounds, because it means a lot of hits for his team, but this fellow Andrews goes crazy when he sees one. He jumped out of his bus and ran behind it all the way to the grounds in Detroit, because he discovered that 13 men in uniform were riding in it, and at Indianapolis he ran outside the grounds to find a bat boy. He wouldn’t have one from the stand or the bleachers. It meant bad luck. Andrews watches the bats the way a cat watches a mouse. If one of’em get crossed over another he jumps into the air and nearly has a fit. Queer thing this superstition.”
Note: Jay Andrews played in the Pacific Coast League in 1903, but I never found anything about Andrews being anything near being a flake. One would read, however, about what a great fielding third baseman he was. Andrews hit .263 for Portland and Seattle in 101 games that season. The slick fielding third baseman never played in the majors.