Yankee Stadium squirrel linked to Norse mythology

BB cryptozoologist pal Loren Coleman has posted frequently on Cryptomundo about rare and unusual squirrels. He's also done intriguing research on the weirder side of baseball and the culture surrounding the game. Over at Cryptomundo, Coleman points out that his two interests came together in a New York Times article today about a squirrel running up and down the right field foul pole in Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. NYT sportswriter Teddy Kider writes that, according to Norse mythology, the squirrel was a bad omen for the New York Yankees. From the New York Times:
Believe it or not, the squirrel’s actions closely resembled those of Ratatosk, or “gnawing tooth,” a squirrel in Norse mythology that climbed up and down a tree that represented the world. Snorri Sturluson, an Icelandic scholar and poet, recorded the story in his 13th-century work “Prose Edda.”

As the story goes, Ratatosk carried insults as it traveled to opposite ends of the tree, fueling a rivalry between the evil dragon residing at the bottom of the tree and the eagle perched at the top...

The Yankees said the squirrel came down about 20 minutes after Tuesday’s game and was allowed to go on its way. It joins a cast of baseball creatures that includes the black cat that crossed in front of the Chicago Cubs’ dugout during their ill-fated pennant-race battle with the Mets in 1969 and the bird that Dave Winfield killed with a throw in Toronto in 1983.


  1. Well, thats explains it!
    Getting towards the end of Gaiman’s American Gods. The squirrel in the tree that Shadow is tied to during Wednesday’s vigil makes so much more sense now.

  2. As both an avid Yankee hater and the owner of a sizable squirrel fetish, this has to be my favorite boing of the month.

    The squirrel mythos also includes a size factor. Note the tiny terror’s actual mass in relation to the eagle and the dragon.

    In trading card games, a squirrel is a small token creature or character. It originated in Magic the Gathering, most notably in the form of Deranged Hermit… who brings four furry tikes with him when he comes into play.

    It remains to be seen how this all plays out for the playoffs this year, but for me it is irrefutable proof that I am still on the right track. It was Monday night’s game that my rituals were aimed at. That was the night the Tigers handed the Yankees their worst road beating of all time. Yes, I said all time. Even though the bad guys have been around for over one hundred years they never got drubbed like that on the road.

    The squirrel in Yankee stadium the next night is a wink in my direction from the Gods. Thanks boingboing, I might have missed it without you.

  3. It should be remembered that Dave Winfield may or may not have killed the seagull on purpose. After the game he was escorted out by police and charged with cruelty to animals. The charges were later dropped.

  4. Ha! Thanks, Rian. I don’t follow baseball closely but I do enjoy going to the games for the whole experience of it. And I like the strange stories I sometimes here about the game, the players, and the ballparks.

  5. My girlfriend’s parents mentioned a squirrel running up and down the foul marker at a yankee game they attended back in april.

  6. How is the squirrel a bad omen for the Yanks? Sounds like in the Norse myth it feeds rivalry between 2 powerful beasts. Sports is all about rivalry. No winner is predicted that I can tell.

  7. I can’t belive that Randy Johnson didn’t make the list of notable “Animal in a ball park” stories… What a way to psyche a batter out… kinda puts “Hey, batter batter batter…” to shame.


  8. In baseball squirrels might be bad luck, but in football (soccer) here in the UK they might be good luck. A squirrel invaded the pitch in Arsenal’s UEFA Champions League home match against Villareal of Spain in April 2006, and Arsenal went on to win 1-0 and reach the final. In the final, no squirrel appeared, and Arsenal lost 2-1 to FC Barcelona. Make of that what you will…

  9. you’re welcome, david.

    well, the yankees just swept the sox, so i guess he didn’t have any immediate negative effect. we’ll see how things go in the post-season.

  10. The squirrel returned last night and the Yankees won again. I am starting to think he is a good omen.

    Funniest thing about the Dave Winfield thing was when they asked manager Billy Martin if he thought Winfield threw the ball at the bird on purpose: “Of course not, he hasn’t hit the cutoff man all year!”

Comments are closed.