USA Today Sports

Mookie Betts' good luck necklace remarkably made it to the World Series

Rob Bradford
October 23, 2018 - 12:41 pm

It might be one of the most surprising stories of the 2018 Red Sox season.

A kid gives Mookie Betts a necklace -- made up of a plastic ball and bat dangling from a string -- back in spring training. Betts starts wearing it, rarely taking it off either on or off the field. Eight months later it is still there, seen with the outfielder at every single moment of the day.

"I just don't take it off," Betts said. "There's no way it's going to break. I only take it off if I get my neck worked on, but other than I don't take it off."

For the first few months of the season, Betts wasn't sure of the name of the gift-giver, going so far as to extend a plea for somebody to step forward.

Finally, Betts -- with the help of -- tracked down the source of the necklace: Griffin Cantrell, a 12-year-old from Paducah, Kentucky.

"Griffin took that necklace specifically for Mookie," said the young fan's father, Matt Cantrell, via a phone interview earlier this year. "He thought we were going to have a chance to meet him and if he met him he wanted to give him something. Because everybody asks for different things from players, but he thought it would be cool if he could give him something for taking time out to stop."

(To read the complete story of how Cantrell got the necklace to Betts, click here.)

While it would have been a nice story even if Betts took off the necklace at some point, the gift mains part of the outfielder's image heading into the World Series. There is the sizable gold necklace Betts' father gave him in high school, and the plastic red ball and bat. That's what you will see flying around with each and every one of Betts' athletic endeavors.

And while Betts' success this season while wearing his new necklace is undeniable, he's not ready to get superstitious.

"I wear it now because I like it," Betts said. "It's not necessarily a good-luck charm. I just like it."