Sports Round-Up May 6

(Photo: Catholic News Service/L’Osservatore Romano)

Jim Harbaugh, head football coach for the University of Michigan, presents Pope Francis with a team football helmet during the pope’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 26.

Citi Field was the site of a special presentation April 25 hosted by St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights. Dr. John Sexton, president emeritus of New York University, Manhattan, delivered a talk entitled “Baseball as a Road to God.”

With New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon on hand, Sexton compared the way fans in different cities reacted to adversity and long periods of losing.

Brooklyn Dodgers fans of the 1940s and ’50s, he said, famously adopted the “Wait ’til next year” rallying cry, as “Dem Bums” routinely fell short on the big stage.

Sexton said fanbases have developed excuses for their team’s losing ways, including simply being cursed. Many however have recently experienced the breaking of those curses with World Series titles.

Sexton chronicled his baseball fandom, starting with the Dodgers, becoming a Mets fan when the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and then converting to the cross-town New York Yankees.

The talk was the sixth part of a series of lectures hosted by Sexton to help raise money for scholarships at St. Francis. Prior to his time at NYU, Sexton taught for and chaired the Religious Studies Department at St. Francis from 1966 to 1975.