Posts Tagged ‘Baseball’

The Church and Baseball

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

I’d like to share with you the following excerpt from my SiriusXM show, “Conversation with Cardinal Dolan.” You can hear the audio segment by clicking here.

On today’s edition of “Conversation with Cardinal Dolan,” the Cardinal’s weekly show on The Catholic Channel on SiriusXM, Cardinal Dolan and co-host Father Dave Dwyer, CSP, discussed the news of the suspension of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

Partial transcript:

Father Dwyer:  “For those of us who have been seeing this in the headlines, does this bring up issues for us of, not only right and wrong, models for children?”

Cardinal Dolan:  “Sure it does.  I think part of the wisdom of sports in the United States, every country is sports conscious, but in the United States we have always seen our athletes not just as wonderful specimens of human talent [and] physical prowess, but also models of virtue and character and honor and decency and integrity.”

Cardinal Dolan:  “So I think it hurts us.  It hurts the game.  It hurts our young people when you see a guy that would have fallen.  And this one, it’s the same with priests and bishops, right?  I mean, they need to look up to us as icons of virtue and integrity and we’ve let them down on occasion.  And our ballplayers do it, too.  And here you’ve got a guy (Alex Rodriguez) who is a whale of a ballplayer, nobody doubts that, but now it’s not some type of, the flaw affects his ability to play the game because maybe people are saying, ‘Wow, are some of the things that we celebrated – his home runs, his RBIs, his on-base percentage – were those enhanced by drugs?’  You know who I feel sorry for are the good hard-working ballplayers that have never taken an illegal substance and are kind of left in the dust.”

Cardinal Dolan:  “So anyway, I’m glad.  I pray with and for Alex Rodriguez as I would with anybody who is going through personal difficulties.  But I am kind of grateful that baseball is in reform mode.  Lord knows we in the Church are, right?  ‘Ecclesia semper reformanda,’ the Church always in need of reform.  And so is baseball.  It’s constantly trying to clean up its act and I’m glad they are because it is important to us.  It is important to the psyche of the nation, isn’t it?”


Father Dwyer:  “With the Alex Rodriguez scandal it makes me think that the things that tempt us most greatly to that are power and influence.  We think we can get away or hide from God if we have more of our own power and less dependence on God.”

Cardinal Dolan:  “I see what you mean.  Almost that we have to enhance our own drive and power instead of counting on the gifts that God gave us.  This is a man of mountainous talent to begin with.  Why would one need to enhance it unnaturally?  Yeah, you enhance it by practice and by exercise but why would one need to enhance it chemically?  I don’t know.  I feel kind of bad for him.  I feel bad for the Yankees because they are a darn good team, they stick together, this has drug them down, they are missing a great player.  It sort of casts a cloud on everybody.”

“Conversation with Cardinal Dolan” airs every Tuesday at 1:00 pm ET on The Catholic Channel, SiriusXM channel 129.  Today’s show will replay today at 4:00pm ET and 9:00 pm ET and at other times throughout the week.

A Baseball Player, an Army Chaplain, and a Revered Pastor

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Charles Lamb has an excellent column in today’s Wall Street Journal on the role that faith played in the life of Jackie Robinson.   We all know the story of Jackie Robinson, a great ballplayer and a great American, whose courage and determination helped spur the civil rights movement and the integration of our nation.  But, as Mr. Lamb writes, “What is often overlooked in accounts of Robinson’s life is that it is also a religious story. His faith in God, as he often attested, carried him through the torment and abuse of integrating the major leagues.”

I’m looking forward to seeing the new movie, “42,” which opened today. I’m glad that, as Mr. Lamb’s column notes, the movie does portray at least something of the role that faith played in both Jackie Robinson’s and Branch Rickey’s lives, in their quest to break baseball’s color line.

The New York Times has two good stories about priests in today’s paper as well. The first is on Father Emil Kapuan, an Army chaplain who died as a POW during the Korean War, who yesterday was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor at the White House.  The second story was on Msgr. Gerald Ryan, New York’s – and probably the nation’s —  longest serving pastor,  who died yesterday at the age of 93.  Two outstanding priests, who each served the Lord and his people well and faithfully.