English

Other uses for brooms

2016-06-07


In baseball, when the home team is close to accomplishing a sweep (having won the first two games of a three-game series or first three games of a four-game series), some fans will bring brooms to the ballpark and brandish them as a way of taunting the visiting team.

During World War Two, American submarine crews would hoist a broom onto their boat's foretruck when returning to port to indicate that they had "swept" the seas clean of enemy shipping. The tradition has been devalued in recent years by submarine crews who fly a broom simply when returning from their boat's shake-down cruise. This tradition no doubt stems from the action of the Dutch admiral Maarten Tromp, who in 1652 tied a broom to his main mast after defeating the British admiral Robert Blake, and claim that he would sweep the British from the seas.

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