By Eric Jayne
Walt Whitman once said that “baseball is the hurrah game! well—it's our game: that's the chief fact in connection with it: America's game: has the snap, go, fling, of the American atmosphere—belongs as much to our institutions, fits into them as significantly, as our constitutions, laws: is just as important in the sum total of our historic life.”.
Whether you’re a fan of the sport or not it’s difficult to deny that baseball is woven into the fabric of American culture. Versions of the sport (such as “Bat and Ball” and “Town-Ball”) were referenced in historical records prior to the Revolutionary War. Baseball had been played mainly in the New York area for several decades before the first organized club was formed in 1845. The Civil War popularized the sport even more when Union soldiers from New York introduced the game to other soldiers in their war camps. It had developed into an invaluable recreation that helped distract from low morale.
Baseball continued to advance in tandem with – and sometimes in advance of – our nation’s growth. Jackie Robinson breaking the color line in 1947, seventeen years before the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, is a good example. The Minnesota Atheists appreciates baseball’s contributions to an American culture flowing with ethnic and theological diversity so we are thrilled to tap into The National Pastime through our partnership with the St. Paul Saints baseball team. Through the sport of baseball we can showcase our fun-loving side and advance positive atheism in action.
Our third annual installment of unbelievable fun will be held again at Midway Stadium in St. Paul. The Night of Unbelievable Fun: The 3rd Strike will be played at Midway Stadium for the last time since the Saints will be playing at their new downtown ballpark next year. Fans can expect to see between inning atheist-themed shenanigans as well as the secularized team name on the player’s jerseys. The “S” in “Saints” will be dropped and the “A” will be capitalized and formatted in the recognizable red atheist “A” made famous by the Richard Dawkins Foundation. And of course “St. Paul” will be secularized to “Mr. Paul.” The Mr. Paul Aints player jerseys are auctioned off during the game so you can go home with a really unique godless memento.
Our atheist baseball game will be played four days before the Major League Baseball All-Star game, which will be played across the river in Target Field. As an avid baseball fan, I can’t think of a better prelude to the All-Star game than watching our beloved (albeit winless) Mr. Paul Aints atheist baseball team face the Kansas City T-Bones for their first ever win. They lost to the Amarillo Sox in 2012 and the Sioux City Explorers in 2013.
The rest of the non-atheist themed St. Paul Saints home games will be a lot of fun as well. They offer affordable tickets, entertaining mini-shows between innings, outdoor baseball, great views, and clever promotions. Card-carrying Minnesota Atheists members will receive a $2.00 discount for every Tuesday St. Paul Saints home game this year on tickets in the Outfield Reserved section. All you need to do is present your member card at the ticket office for your discount. Be sure to wear your Mr. Paul Aints shirt and/or hat. If you don’t have any Mr. Paul Aints stuff to wear you might want to consider visiting our online store and buying some. All profits from Mr. Paul and Ms. Paula Aints shirts and hats directly benefit the operating costs of the Minnesota Atheists.
Tickets for our third annual atheist-themed St. Paul Saints game are $22 for the Infield (or Infidel) Reserved package which includes a Mr. Paul Aints hat, or for $12 you can get the General Admission package which includes a hot dog and soda. Tickets are available at SaintsGroups.com (enter "Atheists" for the password after the captcha screen).
The unbelieveable fun continues at our regional All-Star conference, prestented by Minnesota Atheists and Humanists of Minnesota, at the St. Paul RiverCentre . To more information and registration visit MinnesotaAtheists.org/conference