Superstition? Football players do not enter the field if they do not have perfume

THE NEW YORK TIMES – LIFE / STYLE – It was sometime in the 2012 season when Alcides Escobar of the Kansas City Royals took a bottle out of his closet and sprayed some of the contents on Salvador Pérez. Captured by surprise, Pérez warned his Venezuelan colleague and close friend not to harass him, expressing his feelings in a series of slanderous remarks in Spanish.

Some baseball players, especially those of Latin descent, believe that cologne is important before the game. Photo: Chris Morris / New York Times

Hours later, however, Pérez was not disturbed in any way. He received four hits that day and smelled good in the process. The strange substance in the bottle, from his point of view, has been a performance enhancer: female perfume.

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“From then on, I bought all the perfume from Victoria’s Secret there was, ”Pérez recalled recently in Spanish.

O besiboli is full mila, superstition and uniqueness. But few are as sweet or fragrant as the ones that Pérez, Escobar and so many other players – most of them from South America – practice every day: bathing in perfumes before going to the stadium.

“When people go to work – men or women – they prepare and prepare,” said Yuli Gurriel, the first Houston Astros leader, who is from Cuba. “I look at it this way: this is my job and I want to look good, and I want to smell good too.”

Although the baseball field is the last resort where people would expect to smell a mixture of flowers, fruit, and tree oil, players have their reasons. Among the most mentioned: they do not want to smell bad when they sweat, and the emotions associated with their colognes and perfumes – special events, special emotions, positive vibes – are helpful reminders during the time race.

“All of these people are physically fit,” said San Francisco coach Giants Gabe Kapler, 46, who was a catcher when former star striker Manny Ramirez blew his teammates before the match when they were out on the Boston Red Sox.

“They are all very athletic, very strong, very talented in the field of baseball,” Kapler continued. “But confidence is declining and greatly declining during the season. And this should also happen in trouble, but if smelling good or looking good on the baseball field gives them confidence, maybe that will improve their performance a bit. “

Although few players can explain the origin of this culture, it has been around for decades. Several people from South America said that the use of cologne or perfume in everyday life is common and is transported to the countryside.

“If I don’t have perfume, I feel surprised,” said a third Venezuelan soldier Seattle Mariners, Eugenio Suarez. “Although it sounds crazy, I feel like I’m not taking a shower if I don’t spray perfume before playing.” (Suárez, 30, explained that he bathes.)

“It’s a cultural phenomenon,” added Carlos Santana, 36, the first Dominican base worker for the Royals.

From infancy, the starting pitcher of Toronto Blue Jays, Alek Manoah, who is of Cuban descent, said he sprayed himself with cologne spray – which he still receives from his grandmothers every Christmas – after bathing. Savings pitcher New York YankeesWandy Peralta, said he learned to use perfumes from major Dominican players.

In the youth ranks, where players are often paid low salaries, Pérez said he did not see many players spraying themselves before games. But in the main, everything is much bigger, from payment to notoriety.

“You need to look good,” the team’s inner defender said star, Aledmys Díaz, 31, Cuban. “This is a show.”

Before moving from Cuba in 2016, Gurriel said he was wearing cologne from the collection. Antonio Banderas – the only brand of cologne that he could find. In the United States, he has more options and money, so he buys more often. And because he plays on the first base, he gets visited by opponents throughout the game.

“All the players tell me all the time, ‘You always smell good,’ ‘he said, laughing.

Through baseball, the cult of perfumes is widespread among South American athletes. Kama Red Cincinnatibachelor Amir Garrett, who hails from Las Vegas, said he saw his teammates Raisel Iglesias, Peralta and Suarez pass through the colony before the games. So Garrett, 30, started breaking Suárez’s hideout with permission and continued practicing cologne later and royal family.

Jordan Romano, Canada’s nearest Blue Jays player, said he never wore cologne until his teammate Rafael Dolis, a Dominican national, gave him his first bottle last year. When Romano, 29, became more and more attached to the ritual, the two began to exchange new bowls and Romano developed his own technique. He switches between three colonies: one at a time he feels good, one at a time he says he feels “dangerous” and one at a time when he tries to break the team’s losing line.

“I spray the boys,” he said. “I’ll give it if I think we need it.”

Some players, however, feel they do not need it. As he walks through the fragrant club hall, Yankees introduces pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. he jokes, “Dude, shall we play baseball or shall we go out?”

Considering how polarizing perfume can be, this ends up being a subject that divides the club. Or, at least, it is a topic of some ridicule of good behavior.

Bo Bichette, short station blue jays, joked that he could sometimes smell players “from 6 meters away”. In addition to wearing cologne for a good dinner with his wife, the park’s pitcher Washington citizenSean Doolittle, said the only other time he used it was “when I was walking in the cloud after one of the people passed by the club hall.”

technician of starDusty Baker, 72, who was sprayed with cologne by a colleague from Los Angeles DodgersManny Mota, a Dominican national in the 1970s, said his players are trying to get him to check before the game. He added: “They do not say, ‘Ninuse,’ but they pass me by.”

One of the ones doing this most is the starting pitcher. Framber Valdez. Gurriel, 37, said Valdez, a Dominican, uses “tons” of perfume. “You sweat a lot and sometimes you like to smell good and feel good and smell and free,” added Valdez, 28.

When asked if that helped him shoot the best shot, Valdez, a key player in the Astros team that made it to the World Cup last season, answered without hesitation: “Of course.”

Pérez, now 32, felt similarly about his former Victoria’s Secret perfume. Escobar, now 35, with Nationals, and Pérez said they first encountered the scent of flowers at a nearby Kansas City store and the company used the scent for years after the use of players appeared in public.

In their minds it worked: they reached the World Series in successive seasons and won in 2015. Knowing this culture of success, some players begin to reflect.

“Maybe I smelled like dung,” said Casali, 33, who does not use perfume. “Maybe I’ll call her Victoria’s Secret to send me.” / TRANSLATION OF LÍVIA BUELONI GONÇALVES

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