Editor's note: For the 2015 season, Michigan catcher Lauren Connell has been blogging on mgoblue.com. This is her most recent post.
If you have had a chance to watch Team 38 in action this year, then you have probably seen us doing strange hand motions at second base after doubles. You have probably seen us yelling "PIZZA" from the dugout. You may have even seen pizza emojis all over our social media accounts. It's the question on just about every fan's mind: Why is Team 38 obsessed with pizza? And no, it's not because we actually eat pizza.
Although the origins of the pizza obsession are unclear, the earliest appearance of pizza started at a weekend tournament in Traverse City last fall. We began to call Lindsay Montemarano "Monte Pizza" after she went on and on about all the reasons why New York pizza is better than Midwest pizza, as she deems herself a pizza expert. Every time Monte Pizza got on base, we would "Sprinkle the cheese" in the dugout, and thus, a new Team 38 tradition was born. Soon, we were sprinkling the cheese for everybody after a nice hit. We then rediscovered our love for the greatest food item on Earth as it quickly became the topic of all jokes and Instagram captions. Throughout the course of the season, we have developed a system involving pizza for singles, doubles, triples and home runs, which is as follows:
Any time someone hits a single, you will see everyone in the dugout moving their arm about in a circular motion. We are rolling out the dough and spreading the sauce all over the pizza, the first step in making an actual pizza. We might even spin the dough around our fingers and toss it in the air, because well, we are professional pizza chefs.
Next, we sprinkle the cheese. Lots of cheese. If a player hits a double, then she puts both arms in the air and pinches her fingers like she is sprinkling cheese, and the dugout sprinkles the cheese back at her. Some of the parents and fans have begun to sprinkle the cheese in the stands as well. We want some CHEESY pizza.
Although triples are pretty rare, when they occur, we make pepperoni pizza. We do this by "making it rain pepperonis," using the "make it rain" hand gesture.
After someone hits a home run, then she gets to eat the pizza that we have been cooking around the bases. All the players line up around home plate and sprinkle some cheese, and when whoever hit the home run touches home, she chomp eats the pizza.
Many of the dugout cheers now involve pizza. We have a cheer entitled "Give Her That Pizza" that we like to sing when Sierra Romero is up. You might here some of us yell "Do It For The Pizza!!" And sometimes, Hutch might even say, "Get That Pizza!" to a batter as they step in the box. Although we have yet to actually get pizza, almost everything we do is motivated by fictitious pizza. Maybe we will get some this week, as we head to Fullerton, California, for the Judi Garmin Classic and hopefully sprinkle some cheese.