A player of mine had a genuine respect for his faith and on a regular basis would attend Mass every Sunday regardless if we were home or away.
He also had his uniforms blessed, his gloves, spikes, hats, equipment bags, and even the seat cushion that he used on the bus trips blessed by the local Parish Priest. .
Nobody poked fun at the guy because he was one of the nicest people that you ever wanted to meet. Besides, there are some things in baseball we don’t kid about … a guys mom and his family, personal stuff, and a man’s
persuasions and beliefs.
During a playoff game, that was last in our playoff series, our team was warming up near some bleachers and kids were asking for autographs and stuff, when I noticed my guy talking to a Priest and some others. What he wasn’t doing was his bullpen duty and this was my starter.
I walked over and removed my cap and introduced myself .. along with a nudge to my boy to get to work. He then proceeded to introduce his Parish Priest and his three guests. His guests included two Presbyterian Ministers and a Rabi from a Temple across town. It seems that they were all close friends and a regular golfing foursome.
My boy reaches his glove out… the four clergy all “tap” his glove, he then turns to me and says ..”nothing personal coach… your really great and all … but at times like this I need all the help I can get.”
I should have left well-enough alone, but I had to open my big mouth and say.” I thought you guys weren’t suppose to take sides?” I was then told that each congregation had a pool going on the outcome … and regardless of what they did … on average, every congregation pool had the other team beating us with odds going at ten to one. It took me by surprise and without thinking I said out loud ..” Holy #@!!$”.
The Rabi looked at me and said “ EXACTLY.”