Last Friday, the grounds crew of the St. Louis Cardinals removed a cross and the number “6” that had been scratched onto the back of the pitcher’s mound at Busch Stadium. The two symbols had been an ongoing memorial for Hall of Fame sluggerand former Cardinal Stan Musial.
“Stan the Man,” a deeply spiritual and devout Christian, passed away in January. As a tribute to Musial, a few weeks ago a grounds-crew member began etching the cross and Musial’s number, 6, onto the pitcher’s mound before every game. (One fan complained that the “6″ too closely resembled the Christian icthys symbol.)
Last week, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak ordered that the markings be removed, explaining that he learned of the practice from a newspaper story. Mozeliak told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “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.”
On July 6, the Cardinals held their annual “Christian Day,” which brings national celebrities to the stadium to join Cardinals players after the game in “sharing their testimonies in faith.”