A few weeks ago, Daily RFT got an e-mail from a reader and lifelong Cardinals fan who, while watching the games this season, had noticed something he hadn't seen before on the pitcher's mound. Right near the cleat scraper, etched into the dirt, there appeared to be a Christian cross and fish symbol.Michael Vines is the newest hero in the STL Metro Area.
Michael Vines, who was born and raised in St. Louis, tells us he thought this was unusual and decided to look at some past footage from this season -- and noticed that these symbols were on the mound on many different occasions.
"That's when I realized they were doing it all year," he says. "I hadn't noticed. I was shocked I hadn't noticed."
Vines sent us a handful of images from various games showing the cross and what appears to be the fish symbol -- both of which he argues are not appropriate for a baseball stadium.
In recent weeks, the grounds crew had carved a cross and a No. 6 (in honor of the late Stan Musial) on the back side of the mound. But general manager John Mozeliak, who said he first had learned about the practice from a Post-Dispatch report and photo, said Friday night that he had asked that the practice cease.That, however, won't stop the Evangelical Christian Right from complaining about their "religious freedoms being taken away" and even boycotts of the team.
“Once we learned of it,” said Mozeliak, “I did contact the grounds crew and just asked that they don’t.
“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.”
Local crackpot right winger Jim Hoft, aka Gateway Pundit, complained about the decision to remove the cross, demming it "offensive."
The St. Louis Cardinals organization removed the Christian symbols, including a cross, from the pitching mound this week.Fixed Noise Radio's outrage peddler Todd Starnes:
It was offensive.
The general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals ordered groundskeepers to remove a small cross that had been etched into the pitcher’s mound at Busch Stadium after a fan objected to the religious symbol.
In addition to the cross, crews reportedly carved another image into the mound.
Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the image is the number ‘6’ in honor of Cardinals great Stan Musial who died in January. However, a longtime Cardinals fan suggested the image looked like the “Ichthys” also known as a “Jesus Fish.”