AP Photo Pablo Martinez Monsivais
New York Mets' pitcher Turk Wendell warms up as he takes part in morning workouts in this Feb. 20, 2000 photo in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Relief pitcher Turk Wendell was so superstitious he once requested one of his contracts be rounded off to the nearest nine. Yes, the relief pitcher signed a deal with the New York Mets that was worth $9,999,999,99. His jersey number? It was 99, of course. The contract is only a blip in the radar when speaking about the eccentricities in Wendell's career. Besides brushing his teeth in the dugout between each inning -and sprinting to get there-- he had to chew black licorice while on the mound, waved to the centerfielder before each inning and always wore a necklace made of the teeth and nails from animals he had hunted, including mountain lion teeth and polar bear claws. Managing to pitch for 11 seasons despite not taking his trainers' advice with respect to standard strengthening and training methods, to ask Wendell would be to hear that his own "methods" had worked just fine.