September 3, 1962:
Debuting in 1962, the Houston Colt .45’s experienced the growing pains of every expansion team. Fielding a team largely comprised of castoffs, the team found itself mathematically eliminated from the postseason with nearly forty games to play. Already struggling with a disinterested fanbase, Houston’s owners, including Press Agent and future Phillies chairman Bill Giles, were desperate to create a buzz around the team. With a doubleheader scheduled against the Phillies, who sported a 15-0 record against Houston to this point, ownership announced a “Break the Jinx” night.
As 19,000 fans brought in good luck charms like rabbit feet and black cats, Houston management upped the ante by hiring witch doctor “Dr. Mesabubu” to place a curse upon the Phillies. Played by a local disc jockey, Dr. Mesabubu scaled a ladder and recited spells that were intended to reverse the fortunes of the Phillies. The Colt .45’s seemed to benefit, carrying a 2-0 lead into the top of the 7th until a Johnny Callison home run tied the game. The Phillies won to the tune of 3-2, and took the second game, 5-3.
Though the Phillies finished the season with 17 wins against them, Houston eventually got their revenge, winning the final game of the season series.
Photo: Chuck Farmer