Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Very Superstitious

Are you superstitious? Baseball is. Clayton Kershaw
Baseball has some of the most wacky and traditional superstitions of any sport.

A player should never walk on the foul line when returning to the dugout.
It will jinx the team.

Leave your starting pitcher alone.
Don’t sit with him, don’t talk to him – don’t even look at him – you could ruin his mojo.

Never mention the ‘No-hitter’ especially if it’s occurring during the game.
Big no-no. It’s definitely voodoo related – even baseball announcers avoid it.

A few years ago I began a new tradition - the caricature illustration for the Bee Sports section on opening day or near opening day.  Besides being fun for me to do I have noticed something kind of spooky regarding the turn of  events surrounding the subjects I have chosen to illustrate.

This season I illustrated the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw in an Atlas pose holding an enormously large baseball. Shortly after the opener in Australia and on the flight home Kershaw began to experience pain in a large muscle of his upper back. He is on the DL (disabled list) for the first time in his storied career and will likely be out for at least a month.

One of the first illustrations was of  Barry Zito of the San Francisco Giants. Zito had signed one of the richest  contracts for a major league pitcher that season. He was a bust, turning in some of the worst performances of his career year after year* – even left off the 2010 World Series roster.

Buster Posey. You know him. Giants. Catcher. Suffered a broken leg in a freak collision protecting home plate. He was out the remainder of the season. Yes. I illustrated him for the cover of Sports that year.

But, I am not superstitious — I am just sayin.’


*With exception of the 2012 anomaly



The world champion San Francisco Giants … when they were Fresno Grizzlies

Hey, did you hear that the San Francisco Giants won the World Series? Oh yeah, totally happened. I’m sure you didn’t hear ANYTHING about it on Facebook or Twitter. Here’s one fun Fresno fact that you and your sarcasm detector might not know, though: 17 of the 25 players on the Giants’ World Series roster played for the AAA affiliate Fresno Grizzlies at some point.

Some players we saw a lot of — catcher and clutch home-run-hitter Buster Posey,  Game 2 winning pitcher Madison Bumgarner and Game 4 tripler Brandon Belt, for instance. Others, like MVP Pablo Sandoval and unlikely Game 1 winner Barry Zito, we only saw briefly.

It’s hard to argue with the Grizzlies current “Farmgrown” marketing campaign. Just look at the pics below. In some cases these Grizzlies look quite different than the guys you saw soaked in champagne last night.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than pushing it with Salt ‘N’ Pepa at the Kings Fair

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey makes its annual stop at Selland Arena. You have seven chances to see The Greatest Show on Earth — one tonight, and three shows on both Saturday and Sunday. [Tickets]


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Congrats to the San Francisco Giants … and the Fresno Grizzlies

As you’ve surely heard by now, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series last night. This is how the people in S.F. are celebrating. Looks fun, no?

APTOPIX World Series Giants Fans Baseball.JPG

Here in Fresno, there’s a lot of pride for the Giants win — even from an A’s fan such as myself, who couldn’t help but get lured into the Giants improbable run. I owe much of that to the Fresno Grizzlies, who gave me and thousands of others the chance to see this year’s World Series heroes before they captured the hearts of baseball fans nationwide.

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Fresno Roller Derby Rumble: Meet one of The Shaw Shankers


The ladies of NoTown Roller Derby are having a battle for ultimate Fresno derby supremacy this weekend. Instead of playing a team from a different city, they’re splitting up all their skaters into three different squad and playing each other, tournament style, and calling it the FresYES Fest.

They’ve each adopted a temporary, Fresno-inspired moniker, making Saturday night’s bout — The Shaw Shankers, The Fulton Maulers and The Huntington Blvd. Harlots — a new kind of Fresno celebration.

We’re introducing you to one member of each team this week and getting the scoop on their squad and their favorite things about Fresno. We start with Kim Burly (#1337) — a well-known Fresno cheerleader from her 31 Days of Fresno blog — and a member of the Shaw Shankers.

How did your team come up with its name? It was down to a few options, but ultimately we all most strongly identified with making sharp weapons out of tooth brushes and other household items, so Shaw Shankers was chosen from the list of names submitted by our fans.

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Fres-Know: We’re watching your back


NEWS: Debate between Whitman/Brown (not pictured) may come to Fresno. [The Bee]

GOOD READ: George Hostetter goes hipster, checks out Frank’s Place. [News Blog]

AMUSEMENT: Double Rainbow + cakes = fun. [Cake Wrecks]

ODD NEWS: Truck dumps burning garbage on Fresno street. [The Bee]

BLOG: Fresno blogger retires. Possibly Brett Favre style. [Bench Dog]

WANT: The Griz unveil Buster Posey bobblehead. [Fresno Grizzlies]

VOTE: For local band Motel Drive to … open for Hanson. [Our Stage]

TOTALLY UNRELATED: Little girl gets photobombed by humpin’ giraffes. [Daily What]