You know who really knows how to party? Ultra-Christian ballplayers. Don’t believe me? A recent New York Times story reports that more and more teams are scheduling “faith nights”, which feature bands, giveaways and revival-style testimonials from players:
Third Coast Sports, a company in Nashville that says it specializes in church marketing and event planning for sports teams, has scheduled 70 this year in 44 cities, and many teams produce Faith Nights on their own.
They are about to become even bigger. This summer, the religious promotions will hit Major League Baseball. The Atlanta Braves are planning three Faith Days this season, the Arizona Diamondbacks one. The Florida Marlins have tentatively scheduled a Faith Night for September.
The religious promotions are spreading because they offer something for fans and for teams. Churches get discounted tickets to family-friendly evenings of music and sports with a Christian theme. And in return, they mobilize their vast infrastructure of e-mail and phone lists, youth programs and chaperones, and of course their bus fleets, to help fill the stands.
The Atlanta Braves will hold the first of their “faith days” this Sunday, June 4, featuring the characters from Veggie Tales, christian rock acts Aaron Shust and Matthew West and guest speaker John Smoltz. Later on this season, faith nights will feature guest speakers Chris Reitsma and Sid Bream.
Anybody who’s skeptical of just how much fun mixing baseball and Christianity can be needs look no further than last year’s all-star game, when Johnny Damon and Mike Piazza joined the members of Christian band Creed (minus former lead singer Scott Stapp) on stage during a pre-homerun derby performance. Damon and Piazza weren’t actually playing instruments or singing, but they played some serious air guitar.
And the Lord loves a good air guitar solo.
…………..Baseball……………….. Jesus…………………… Baseball Jesus…………