I am a devout Major League Baseball fan. I love the game. My son has played Little League since he was four years old, and I used to live very close to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
I think I own most all of the great baseball movies: Bull Durham, For Love of the Game, Major League, The Sandlot, and The Rookie.
Being a devoted fan, I understand the value of the streak, baseball rituals, and what makes great players exceptional in the Major Leagues. Part of that is the ritual itself.
Stan Musial is in an elite group of baseball greats elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. His passing this January was a huge blow to the City of St. Louis and his fans nationwide.
Musial, a devout Christian, was remembered recently by a grounds keeper at the St. Louis stadium who etched a cross and Musial’s #6 onto pitcher’s mound before every game. Apparently one fan complained:
“Stan the Man,” a deeply spiritual and devout Christian, passed away in January. As a tribute to Musial, a few weeks ago a grounds-crew member began etching the cross and Musial’s number, 6, onto the pitcher’s mound before every game. (One fan complained that the “6″ too closely resembled the Christian icthys symbol.)
Last week, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak ordered that the markings be removed, explaining that he learned of the practice from a newspaper story. Mozeliak told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “It’s just not club policy to be putting religious symbols on the playing field or throughout the ballpark. I didn’t ask for the reason behind it. I just asked for it to stop.”
Read the rest here.
Interestingly, the St. Louis Cardinals held their “Christian Day” bringing together people of faith last week on July 6th.
In my mind, St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak went too far in appeasing one fan in the name of “political correctness”. What’s wrong with a groundskeeper remembering his boyhood hero? And why take action the same week that your franchise is recognizing Christians?
In contrast, today in St. Louis, the “Stan Musial Memorial Bridge” became official when Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation approving it.
Since the bridge is shared between the States of Illinois and Missouri, federal legislation is pending signature by the President which would rename the bridge the “Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge” to honor our military. This was the result of a bipartisan compromise byIllinois Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) and several other Members of Congress.
Seeing all of these acts in the same week made me think that being “PC” (as in “politically correct”) has definitely made otherwise smart people go a little bonkers as they try to appease finger-pointers who are religiously intolerant.
This is what Dr. Ben Carson, now a Washington Times columnist, said in this article about submitting to “political correctness” -
“We should stop submitting to political correctness and instead start engaging civil discussion. By doing so, we can arrive at logical solutions that work for everyone instead of retreating to our respective corners and throwing hand grenades at each other. We must not succumb to the forces that wish to divide and conquer us. There is a reason that we are called the United States of America.”
Cardinals Owner John Mozeliak should meet and break bread with Dr. Ben Carson some day. He might learn something.
Tolerance of a simple act of remembrance of a great ballplayer by a groundskeeper is something every Major League Baseball owner should understand. After all, it is the ritual, the streak, and the faith in your team and its players that keeps baseball fans coming back again and again.
Perhaps when Mr. Mozeliak attends the dedication of the “Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge”, he’ll think about that. That’ll be a day where those who believe will see Stan Musial smiling as he looks down from heaven.
This article originally appeared at ThoughtfulWomen.org.
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons