Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rector's Rambling - September 25, 2011

As you can tell, I am still away on my vacation, in lieu of a sabbatical for my 10 years at St. John’s. If all goes as planned, I am in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California this morning.
One of the interesting things about being the Church “next to Comerica Park” is that over the past 10 years I have had the opportunity to interact on various levels with members of the Detroit Tigers staff, front office, and the players.
The first year I was here, then Tiger manager Phil Garner invited me to come to the clubhouse (locker rooms) to “bless the bats”. This was back in 2001 when the Tigers were not winning too many games. I got to meet the players, got a tour of the clubhouse, and threw around some holy water. On that day, I met Brandon Inge who is the only player still on the roster from that team. President and GM Dave Dombrowski has been in our church for our Pray Here for the Tigers service as have a few pitchers and front office staff. I have had the opportunity to meet Pudge, Magglio, Don Kelly, Schlereth, and even got to interview former 1st baseman Sean Casey for the Episcopal newspaper. On that day I also met Justin Verlander and have a picture in my office of the two of us talking.
Another perk is meeting players and staff from visiting teams. If all has gone according to plan, we had the chance this past week to have a tour of the Los Angeles Angels facilities with recently retired Head Trainer Ned Bergert. For the past 10 years, whenever the Angels were in town, Ned would attend either Wednesday or Sunday 8:00 AM services at St. John’s, and I have had many an opportunity to visit with him before and after Mass. Each time he said, “If you ever get to Anaheim, I’d love to show you around.” This week we finally had the opportunity to take him up on the offer.
Baseball is a fun distraction. I love coaching and watching my boys play, and of course look forward to a long run in the playoffs for the Tigers this year!