Fan complains and St Louis Cardinals GM orders cross and Stan Musial ‘6’ to be removed from mound
St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak has ordered a small cross etched in the pitching mound be removed.
Mozeliak Post-Dispatch he had been unaware of the marks until they were featured in news reports.
“Once we learned of it, I did contact the grounds crew and just asked that they don’t,” Mozeliak told the 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,” he said.
It appears one fan, Michael Vines, wrote in to complain about the symbols arguing that it’s wrong for the Cardinals to display “religious iconography on the infield at Busch Stadium, a place of hallowed ground not just for Christians, but for Cardinal fans of all religions, including none at all.”
Here is Vines’ full letter.
Derrick Goold wrote a piece in StLToday.com (June 23, 2013) about a Christian cross etched into the dirt of the pitcher’s mound at Busch Stadium. It was I who called attention to the cross, along with what I took to be the image of something commonly known as the “Jesus fish” also scratched into the mound. Goold says that the latter is the number “6”, a tribute to Stan Musial. If so, it’s a very oddly shaped “6” (see attached photo) and, considering its proximity to the cross, would seem to be serving a dual purpose.
Goold lead his piece with the headline “Mound Tribute,” as if there were nothing inappropriate about displaying religious iconography on the infield at Busch Stadium, a place of hallowed ground not just for Christians, but for Cardinal fans of all religions, including none at all.
And there’s this to consider. According to the Post (http://bit.ly/1caTLMW), team owners are the beneficiaries of ticket and real estate tax abatements that will save them $143 million in payments to the city over 25 years, as well as $54 million in state incentives and a $45 million county loan.
The team and stadium may be privately owned, but a they are civic institutions. Out of respect to a devoted and diverse fan base who also has some skin in the game, not to mention a diverse group of players, ownership has a responsibility and obligation to prohibit religious symbols of any kind from being placed in the field.