A Lesson from a Strange Night at Comerica Park

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Something strange happened in Detroit on the evening of Sept. 10.  Maybe it was just happenstance.  Or maybe it wasn’t.

This article is kind of about sports, but it’s really about Catholicism.  So even if you are not a sports nut, bear with me.

Sports aficionados are fully aware of the old adage, ‘it’s not who you play, but when you play them.’  In other words, in baseball, as all sports, on any given night, even the worst team in the league can beat the best team in the league.  That’s just what happened on Sept. 10.

Catching Fire

When it comes to baseball, it all depends on who’s hot and who’s not.  When it comes to pitching, hitting, fielding, and running the bases, even the worst team can suddenly catch fire.  On Sept. 10 the Tigers caught fire.

The Detroit Tigers, the team with the worst record in the majors (43 wins, 100 losses) beat the NY Yankees, a team that is tied with the Houston Astros for the best record in the majors (95 wins, 51 losses).   The final score was Detroit 12, NY 11.

It does not happen all that often but it does happen.  Maybe it was just a bad night for league leaders since Houston also got beat that same night.  Actually Houston got trounced, 21-5.  But that’s neither here nor there.  The real story took place at Comerica Park.

So what’s the big deal?  It just so happens that it was “Catholic Night at Comerica Park” on Sept. 10.  More than 500 Catholics attended the game in support of Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan.  And just maybe a lot of those Catholics were silently praying for a win for the team wearing the old English D.

Does God get involved in sports?  I have no idea.  But as the Detroit Catholic online newspaper remarked, “Maybe the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Detroit Tigers fan.”  In any case a minor miracle may have taken place.

The Yankees clobbered six home runs in the game.  Detroit did not even have one extra base hit until the ninth inning.  The Tigers scored their runs hitting singles – 14 of them.  The Tigers played small ball and beat the team that was launching ‘em into the seats.

Is there a lesson here?

Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned here:  Playing small ball can still win the game.  Instead of looking for a big, life changing miracles in our culture and society, in our lives, in our parishes, and in the Church, we can bring about change by playing small ball – through daily prayer.  We can change the world by being Catholics and doing what Catholics are supposed to do.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if those 78% of Catholics who are not going to Mass on Sunday would start going to Mass and worshiping God and giving thanks to Him.  Imagine if all 70 million-plus Catholics in the U.S. were going to Church on Sunday and asking God for help in changing our culture.

I can’t help but wonder what might happen if all the lapsed-Catholics or non-practicing Catholics would start practicing their Faith again.  What if more Catholics started praying the rosary regularly and going to Eucharistic Adoration?

Do you have a friend or loved one who is a lapsed-Catholic?  Do you know one or more Catholics who are no longer practicing their Faith?   Maybe it’s time to have a heart-to-heart with them.  You might just save their souls.  And maybe you will be helping to change the world.

Wouldn’t it be great if Catholicism caught fire?

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4 thoughts on “A Lesson from a Strange Night at Comerica Park”

  1. As Yogi once said: “It aint over til it’s over”. So it was at Comerica Park with our lowly Tigers coming from far behind to beat the mighty Yankees in extra innings. My wife and I were there, wearing our “unleash the gospel” Tiger hats and cheering them on. In the spiritual life, as in baseball, Yogi’s words ring true.

  2. My wife and I were at Comerica Park on Catholic night, wearing our “Unleash the gospel” Tiger hats, and indeed it was a night to remember! A good reminder for us all, as the great Yogi once said: “It’s never over til it’s over!” A good lesson in the spiritual life, as in baseball.

  3. Gene-Thank you muchly for this inspiration.

    Speaking of “small ball,” how about just one little soul? I am in my 8th decade on God’s good earth and I met a lady yesterday whose name is “Rosario,” no kidding. And Rosario told me something her mama told her long time ago: “Darling, each time you say a rosary, a soul is set free from purgatory. So, not just “one little soul,” – there is no eternity “small ball. This is one unique, immortal soul of infinite value to God that’s gonna be in heaven with God forever. Don’t know the theology re: pray one rosary, set one (small) soul free; but I am gong to think about this now every time I do say the rosary.

    Thank you for the sports report. [I don’t follow baseball, but I do seem to remember that some years back some ‘nut’ predicted that the then last place team in future would be World Series champs.)

    Guy, Texas

    1. Guy,
      Thanks for the kind words. And I agree with your point about one soul at a time.
      Also, it wasn’t much of a prediction. The odds were in my favor.

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