Christian crosses are not welcome symbols for mound decoration at Busch Stadium.
Late last week, St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak ordered the Busch Stadium grounds crew to stop carving a cross on backside of the pitching mound, according to news reports.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that recently the grounds crew had carved a cross and the number 6 on the mound during home games in honor of Cardinals great Stan Musial.
Musial died this past January at the age of 92.
“Once we learned of it,” Mozeliak told the Post-Dispatch, “I did contact the grounds crew and just asked that they don’t.”
Mozeliak said that he found out about the cross carvings in a Post-Dispatch article, which first reported about the mound carvings in late June.
“They’ve been there every time for me,” Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright told the paper at the time.
“That’s when I realized they were doing it all year. I hadn’t noticed. I was shocked I hadn’t noticed,” Michael Vines, the fan who wrote to the local papers, explained to the RFT that he noticed the symbols during the season and realized they were there at many different times throughout the year after looking back at old game footage.
The practice however ended Friday.
“It’s just not club policy to be putting religious symbols on the playing field or throughout the ballpark,” Mozeliak said. “I didn’t ask for the reason behind it. I just asked for it to stop.”
“If you want to stencil, ‘Stl,’ or something like that, that’s fine,” Mozeliak added to the Post-Dispatch, “but that’s not something we’ve asked anyone to do.”
According to the Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are one of the few teams in baseball to not etch their logo on the back of the mound.