St. Louis Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak has ordered the removal of two Christian symbols from the pitcher’s mound at Busch Stadium.
Michael Vines, a self-proclaimed lifelong Cards fan, noticed what appeared to be a cross and a fish symbol etched into the dirt of the mound last month, and brought it to the attention of the Riverfront Times‘ news blog.
“That’s when I realized they were doing it all year,” Vines told the RFT. “I was shocked I hadn’t noticed.”
In a follow-up letter, Vines argued against 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.”
The team said the grounds crew had been carving the number ‘6’ into the dirt in honor of Cardinals legend Stan Musial, who passed away in January.
Mozeliak ordered the crew to cease the practice, whatever their reasons. “It’s just not club policy to be putting religious symbols on the playing field or throughout the ballpark,” Mozeliak said. “I didn’t ask for the reason behind it. I just asked for it to stop.”
Some conservative commentators have noted that the removal of religious emblems is a bit off given the team’s religious name:
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