By Sister Dolores Beere, MHSH*
I am a baseball fan! To be more specific, I am a Baltimore Orioles fan—an ardent Baltimore Orioles fan.
From the time I was a very young child I listened to baseball games on the radio with my mother and father. They were both great fans. I remember one warm summer night in particular. We were sitting outside on the front steps listening to the ballgame. It went into extra innings and it got very late, but my mother was determined to listen to the end. When it was over she told my father to take her to the hospital, where she gave birth to my sister. But she heard the end of that game first.
There was a Baltimore team before the Orioles that played in an old ball park on 28th Street. My father took me there when I was about seven years old. I loved it.
Later I went to games at the old Memorial Stadium, and, more recently at the new Camden Yards, where I was once hit by a ball during pre-game warm-ups.
While I love the game, I can’t say that baseball is a “religious experience,” but I think it’s a very spiritual thing when the players use their God-given gifts to bring so much enjoyment to people. They have a calling. And that’s to play baseball. Cal Ripken was a good example of this. He loved the game; he was a good sportsman; he was called to play baseball.
And, like Cal Ripkin, a lot of the Orioles are very involved with worthy local projects; they give back to the community, and especially the kids. They’re role models.
For the players who take drugs to enhance their playing—that’s not using their God-given gifts, that’s just greed.
My ministry in Detroit lasted for 16 years, and I followed the Detroit Tigers, but I never became a fan. In fact, one year I went to the season opener between the Tigers and the Orioles and cheered (loudly) for the Orioles. We won.
I enjoy baseball—every single day, winning or losing. One year they were zero for 21—not one win in 21 games! But I was with them. This year, I think they have a shot at the World Series. That would be great. But, it’s still early in the season, anything can happen.
I’ll be rooting for them, no matter what.
*Sister Dolores, who will be 90 in October, recently celebrated her 70th year as a Mission Helper of the Sacred Heart. But, she’s been a baseball fan longer than that.