Magazine article The Christian Century

Runs, Hits, Errors

Magazine article The Christian Century

Runs, Hits, Errors

Article excerpt

MISTAKES: WE ALL make them. Columnists like David Broder and William Safire write annual retrospectives on the bloopers and mistakes they made during the past year. They act repentant and vulnerable to protect themselves from carpers who would have dug up their errors and made much of them. My main mistake in 1996 was not to end the year with a similarly repentant column. One can procrastinate only so long before 'fessing up and looking humble. So I shall admit two errors.

One was an active sin: In the November 6 issue I wrote about the vigil that keeps me away from Chicago ballparks. Like the pastors of market-driven churches, I back only winners. And Chicago baseball teams are mainly losers. I will wait with the Cubs until the centennial of their last World Series victory, which was 1908. Since 1952 I have attended two Cubs games. By mistake.

What about the White Sox? Since 1952 I have attended two Sox games, one of them in 1959, the week they won the pennant. In my column I made the mistake of not mentioning that this Chicago team had won the World Series more recently than 1908--the Sox did it in 1917. (Thoughts of the Black Sox scandal in 1919 blocked my memory.) The editors printed a letter representing the hosts who laughed at my gaffe. Even some ill-mannered staff members derided me.

Hey, I am aware of the Sox. As a pastor who built a church in 1959 I saw to it that we put into the cornerstone an issue of the Chicago Sun-Times bearing headlines about the American League championship. We laughed and cried about the 40 years that the Sox had wandered in the wilderness. …

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