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The time the 1980s Astros used the occult to stop a losing streak

Jun 28, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

Jim Deshaies explains that once, back in the late 80s, his Astros dropped a bunch of games in a row against the Padres in Jack Murphy Stadium despite being the better overall team. Frustrated, he and some of his teammates resorted to the dark arts:

Clearly it was time to change the karma. Some unknown force led me to a local book store where I happened upon a book on the occult, full of spells,incantations and the like.

Flipping through the pages I came upon a spell that would put a curse on one’s enemies house. Seemed like a fit. It called for twigs from 3 different types of trees. I gathered twigs from the first three trees I came upon brought them to the ballpark and gathered a pair of co-warlocks .(Larry Andersen and Dave Smith) The spell mandated we spit on the twigs then light them on fire and while smoldering recite the incantation:

Burner be burned,
Turner be turned
Let nothing but good
come from this wood.

Go read how it turned out. And whether the lesson is that the occult works or, rather, that momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher.

Note: Chris Truby did not play for the Astros for over a decade after this, so his well-known participation in the dark arts is totally unrelated.

  1. chacochicken - Jun 28, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    So what book did he buy? The Bill James Baseball Abstract?

  2. jeffa43 - Jun 28, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    My Father and I were there…. I wish I could post a photo, as I have that ticket framed in my Astro collection.

    I have it framed for the reason, it was Biggio catching Ryan for the first time.

  3. specialkindofstupid - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    I always suspected Jim Deshaies was a witch. I bet he weighs as much as a duck.

  4. heyblueyoustink - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    If all it takes to stop Matt Harvey is a falling house…..

    • historiophiliac - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:13 AM


  5. andreweac - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    It’s the Willingness to Win chant… Duh!

  6. gloccamorra - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    The story is leaving something out. Stadium cleaners complained once about the Astros leaving chicken entrails in the visitor’s clubhouse, so there was more going on than just twigs and incantations.

  7. Gamera the Brave - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Not much a poem, iambic pentameter not so much…

  8. nolanwiffle - Jun 28, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Wouldn’t it have been simpler to just acquire Tim Teufel? As long as the Astros didn’t have to face Jim Gott….

  9. DJ MC - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    “Should have got the chicken!”

  10. Old Gator - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    I have some goats for sale. Cheap. If I had any meerkats, you could have them for nothing.

  11. sjhaack - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    All you had to say was Larry Andersen and I believe it.

  12. ddjesus - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Is that Astros star really a pentagram?

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