Babe Ruth called his World Series home run, Joe Namath guaranteed a Super Bowl title, and Muhammad Ali predicted his first-round knockout of Sonny Liston. The Fresno Grizzlies thought about trying to join the pantheon of famous sports predictions, but had a change of heart. After announcing a whimsical giveaway of 2017 World Series rings for their new parent club (because what could possibly go wrong?), the Grizzlies pulled the plug on the promotion.
Not that baseball people are superstitious or anything, but Grizzlies general manager Derek Franks, quoted in the Houston Chronicle, explained:
We met internally and have decided to replace the 2017 Houston Astros World Championship Ring with a more Fresno-centric giveaway, which more aligns with our marketing plans for 2015 and beyond. We do not want a Fresno Grizzlies giveaway to be perceived as a jinx for our Major League affiliate.
The Grizzlies are one of six triple-A teams who changed Major League parent clubs during the offseason, signing on with the Houston Astros after the San Francisco Giants left for Sacramento. (See the map above.) The Grizzlies’ enthusiasm for the Astros, who have been terrible in recent years, but who have one of the top farm systems in the Majors, was inspired by a Sports Illustrated prediction (because those are always right) that the Astros would win the 2017 World Series.
The World Series ring giveaway was going to take place on August 15 on one of many Back to the Future nights scheduled in minor league baseball this year.