TCU's secret weapon: The Rally Turtle
This is what makes college baseball supreme to anything major league-- multimillion dollar contracts, steroids, HGH, no salary cap and all 162 regular games included.
The Rally Turtle.
Frogs' All-American catcher and Detroit Tigers' sixth-round draft pick gave due credit to the the dugout turtle, which was drawn in the dirt, for TCU's eighth inning comeback spectacle against Florida State Wednesday.
"That was our rally turtle," Holaday said. "We were just basically digging in the toolbox, trying to find something to energize the dugout, trying to get everybody into the game and just realize that it wasn't over yet and we could still fight back.
"It was just a testament to how resilient our club is, especially our hitting and just our ability to trust each other no matter what the situation."
Said turtle sparked an impromptu dialogue between TCU head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle and his players at the podium during Wednesday's post-game press conference.
Schlossnagle: "Where does the turtle come from?"
Holaday: "It's been around for awhile."
Schlossnagle: "I absolutely have no idea what goes on in the course of the game in our dugout."
First baseman Matt Curry: "We were feeding him and giving him water and everything. He got us that rally. You'll probably see it again."
Schlossnagle: "It happens in the big leagues everyday, Barry Bonds and those guys draw a rally turtle."
It's doubtful the All-Time MLB home run king drew any rally turtles in the dugout before teeing off on opposing pitchers; the sarcasm was understood by anyone on hand to here the rally turtle conversation.
If the rally turtle sparked anything for TCU's eight-run rally in the eighth inning, it was Holaday's bold slide into second.
It looked like Holaday, not known for his speed, tried to do too much with his rope off the left field wall as the throw came into second base--Holaday would have been out had he not avoided the tag, switching up arms after coming in with his left hand.
"Part of TCU baseball is taking pride in the small things like sliding," Holaday said. "Not a lot of teams do that. Coach (Randy) Mazey, our base running coach, has done a terrific job with everybody on working on sliding, just in case you got in that moment, and it paid off for me."
Had Holaday been thrown out on his two-base hit, Curry's grand slam and third baseman Jantzen Witte's fourth homer of the season would have never happened.
"But this is what its all about, when you turn it on and you see a bunch of college kids on both ends," Schlossnagle said. "Florida State and here, and the rally turtle and different things in the dugout.
"I mean, that's why college baseball-I'm very biased-it's the best sport around. It's great. It gets to be showcased in such a great forum here in Rosenblatt."
South Carolina's Avatar "Spirit Bat" May Trump Rally Turtle
The South Carolina Gamecocks may have one-upped TCU when it comes to dugout luck charms. Heck, The Gamecocks don't have a luck charm, they have a James Cameron-inspired ritual that incorporates a ball, bat and chanting.
Here is an excerpt on the Gamecocks' Avatar Bat Ritual from Ron Morris of The State:
The clubhouse sÃÂ©ance was intended to exorcise the demons from USC's bats. Then, when the team returned to the dugout to resume play, Beary said an illustration was needed on how the team should begin hitting.
Beary grabbed a baseball and taped it to a fungo bat. The concept was simple, Beary explained to his teammates: You put the bat to the ball to produce hits. Presto! USC also had its "Avatar" spirit stick, and players since have touched it for good luck before going to bat."
The Gamecocks defeated Oklahoma 3-2 in extra innings Thursday to stave off elimination in Bracket 2. They will play their in-state rivals, the Clemson Tigers, Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 for a chance to advance the CWS Final.
Read the full article HERE.
It might not be likely, but a Rally Turtle-Spirit Bat showdown dugout showdown would be in the works if TCU and South Carolina advance to the Final.