US deans’ baseball bet shows how ‘friends can disagree with respect’

08 November 2019


Washington National Cathedral floodlit with the logo of the Washington Nationals last week

Washington National Cathedral floodlit with the logo of the Washington Nationals last week

TWO cathedral deans in the United States engaged in a wager over last week’s baseball World Series match. The loser wore the other’s colours during last Sunday’s service.

Victory for the Washington Nationals over the Houston Astros last week meant that the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, the Very Revd Barkley Thompson, wore the colours of the Nationals for a service last Sunday.

The bet was made with the Dean of Washington National Cathedral, the Very Revd Randy Hollerith. After the Nationals’ 6-2 win in the World Series, the National Cathedral was lit up in red, and rang its bells for an hour. The team’s mascot was invited into the pulpit.

Speaking after his team’s defeat, Dean Thompson said: “It was a spectacular and hard-fought seven-game World Series, and, unbelievably, it did not turn out as we in Houston and at Christ Church Cathedral had hoped.” It was, he said, a “friendly wager . . . that demonstrated to the world how friends can disagree with respect and in love”.

Before the seven-match World Series, Washington National Cathedral had placed Nationals’ caps on some of its grotesques and gargoyles.

It had also posted videos of the unofficial anthem of the Washington Nationals — “Baby Shark”, a children’s song that has become a viral sensation online — being played on its organ. In a message on Twitter, the cathedral said: “Everyone at @WNCathedral is rooting for the @Nationals — even all 10.647 pipes of the organ!”

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