Sportress of Blogitude

Yankees’ five-game winning streak credited to reliever’s horse head mask? (photos)


With time winding down on the season and the New York Yankees’ hopes of making the postseason dwindling, relief pitcher Shawn Kelley may have inadvertently stumbled upon the team’s good luck charm while perusing Amazon.

Kelley last week debuted a particularly disturbing-looking horse head mask during pregame stretches and since then, the Yankees have not dropped a game.

Since last Thursday when the frightening mask made its first appearance, the Bronx Bombers have gone on a five-game winning streak, culminating with a 8-1 beatdown of the Kansas City Royals on Monday.

Kelley happened upon the peculiar item while poking around on Amazon. With a list price of $29.99, the offer was too good to pass up. Apparently.

“When I see those things, randomly in a crowd, it makes me laugh,” Kelley told Yahoo! Sports. “So I figured I’ll do that, and it’ll make everyone laugh in the clubhouse.

“And then we went on a winning streak.”

Kelley had no idea going that his impromptu purchase would spawn a winning streak, but his attempt at bringing some lightheartedness to the marathon grind of a season certainly has coincided with an impressive run of games. Whether the winning streak and the horse mask are related is anyone’s guess, but in the superstitious nature of a typical major league clubhouse, no one is going to mess with a good thing going.

His teammates attested to the possibly magical quality of the equine mask.

“Kelley’s undefeated with the horse,” Jacoby Ellsbury said. “I’m never going to go against that.”

“You can’t help but laugh at a guy in a horse head,” catcher Brian McCann said. “He nails it. When he goes into character, there’s no getting him out of it. He’s a rock star. That’s what he is.”

A rock star indeed. In a pretty freaky-deaky-looking horse head mask. Weird.

Even with the the recent hot streak, the chance of the Yankees making it to the postseason are remote at best. The team sits six games back of the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East and 2 1/2 games back in the wild card race.

But anything to keep spirits up is worth a shot. But does Kelley’s equine alter ego have a name?

“Seabiscuit,” he said. “That’s what we’re calling him.”


Seabiscuit the very, very disturbing unofficial team mascot. Fantastic.

(image credits: top, @CindyBoren, bottom, @Sports42Fanatic)