Addie Joss’ Pigeon

6 Jun

Before he was called “The Human Hairpin,” Addie Joss picked up the nickname “Juneau Slat,” after the Wisconsin town.

Generally, Joss appeared to be less superstitious than many of his brethren whose lucky charms, curses, and “hoodoos” were chronicled on a regular basis in newspapers.



But, in 1907, after he signed with Cleveland for $4,000 after a brief holdout, The Cleveland Plain Dealer said he had “a hunch that he would join the Naps,” several days before he signed, because of a bird:

“Early last week Joss went to his home to have some photographs made in uniform.  While posing in the yard Joss noticed a carrier pigeon alight upon his front porch and walk through the door, which had been left open, the day being warm.

“’What do you think of that bird?’ the Juneau Slat demanded of a friend in a surprised voice, as the bird disappeared inside the house.

“’You know the old saying, that a dove is the harbinger of peace,’ the friend replied.”

Joss quickly followed the bird into his the house:

“Addie’s search for the pigeon took him to the kitchen, where the bird had established itself.  Joss made a temporary cage for the homer out of an orange box, and extracted from the friend a promise of silence until the bird proved itself a prophet of good or a bird of ill omen.

“As has been established, the pigeon lived up to its reputation, for on Friday (March 8) night Joss was summoned to Cleveland by the owners of the baseball club, and at noon Saturday peace had been established and he signed a contract.”

Joss went on to win 27 games and posted a 1.83 ERA, pitching a career high 338.2 innings in 1907.

He never said what became of the pigeon.

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