December 22, 2011 4:41 PM | By Jason Buckland, MSN Sports
Sports’ weirdest athletes

Turk Wendell



Turk Wendell (© AP photo)
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Who: Ex-Major League reliever; master of superstition

Baseball players, even ones with long careers, fade into obscurity all the time. But Turk Wendell, he of the otherwise unmemorable 11 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies, will never be forgotten. The notoriously wacky reliever was one of baseball's true masters of superstition, standing out in a game filled with quirks and bizarre rituals. Among Wendell's practices were his refusal to step on the baselines while entering and leaving the field of play, and insisting on chewing four pieces of black licorice when on the mound. Most notably, the right-hander would also retreat to the bench between innings and brush his teeth in the dugout water fountain.

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