Howdy folks. By the title of this post you may be thinking that I have become a heretical sports maverick. Do Not Worry; I Have Not!!! Yesterday was the annual Holy Hill server’s tailgate and baseball game at Miller Park and I am still elated at the 10-5 Milwaukee Brewer’s victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
We servers had an awesome time. We tailgated in the parking lot at St. Florian’s (something only the Carmelites and their altar boys can do because they run the parish). After that, we dodged cars and crosswalks as we hiked to Miller Park. We got nice shady first base seats so – unlike last year – we could watch the game without sweat beads rolling down our backs. There we witnessed the Brewers beat the Cardinals 10-5. Casey McGehee hit three home runs, perhaps because there were three Carmelites, Fr. Don, Fr. Michael, and Fr. Jack – sitting in the stands – cheering the Brewers on. I probably don’t need to say it again, however: we had an awesome time!
Now onto “the holiness of baseball;” Fr. Don Brick O.C.D. suggested this name to me on our way home from the game yesterday. He said that I could write something to the effect of: “three home runs in a game is like saying a rosary.” I think that is stretching it a wee bit, however I do find the structure of baseball – and all athletics for that matter – similar to the structure of the Holy Catholic Faith. Their similarities include:
- While the rule-book is essential to the game, tradition is irreplaceable. “Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours (2 Thessalonians 2:15).”
- Yelling at the umpire doesn’t get you very far – remember he didn’t make the rules, he just enforces them. If you argue with the pope, remember you are arguing with Christ – bad idea.
- We are all a team and in this together. The coach has the authority and the outfielder has the glory, however the bat boy is also necessary.
- Keep focused and don’t listen to the crowd.
- What coach says overrides the crowd.
- Spirit is contagious.
- Baseball is not a democracy; thankfully, neither is the Catholic Church – the Holy Father shepherds, he doesn’t make campaign speeches.
- The stadium (and Church) doors are open to both saints and sinners.
- What is reported in TV news sound-bytes is not the whole story.
- When the game is over, no matter how many instant replays you have and how loud the crowd, the score does not change. What is final, is final.
You can even find God in a baseball game, how amazing! I just want to thank the three Carmelite Friars: Fr. Don, Fr. Michael and Fr. Jack, for taking time out of their busy schedules to go to a ball game. They did more than consume brats and make a bunch of altar boys happy, they promoted vocations by their very presence at Miller Park. Thank You!!!! May St. John Marie Vianney – the patron of priests – on this his feast day, give you his blessing.