- Jun 18, 2021
Hank Aaron, who was baseball’s home run king for 33 years, overcame racism to make his mark in the game he loved. Aaron died Jan. 22 at age 86.
It’s sometimes thought that people too attached to their own tradition aren’t open enough to be able to dialogue with others; that to be universal, you’ve got to be a little less specific. John Paul II and Tommy Lasorda, through their remarkable lives, delivered the only Catholic answer to that claim: Bunk.
Tommy Lasorda, who won two World Series titles during his 21-year managerial reign with the Los Angeles Dodgers and became an ambassador for baseball in retirement from the sport, died Jan. 7 in Los Angeles at age 93.
Another barrier in the sports world was broken July 20 when Alyssa Nakken coached first base in the late innings of an exhibition game between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics, thus becoming the first woman to appear in uniform on the field during a major league baseball game. The Giants won the game, 6-2.
A baseball season and team are not often synonymous with religious or spiritual themes, but for Msgr. Stephen Rossetti, using words such as “miracle,” “grace” and “faith” are actually the best ways to describe the 2019 World Series champion Washington Nationals.
Baseball is not my only passion. I’m also a member of the Vaticanologist guild, which beckoned the thought: What if there were a fantasy draft for the Vatican?
Father Humbert Kilanowski, a mathematics professor at Providence College in Rhode Island, has been a baseball stats guy since his freshman year in high school, when he was a student manager of his school’s baseball team.
Both baseball and Catholicism are victims of their own success, in that dysfunctional management often is facilitated by a wildly passionate fan base that just won’t walk away, no matter how staggeringly obtuse those in charge sometimes can be.