Baseball and Religion: Opening Day Humor

Ivan_DeJesus

Sometimes religion and sport intersect in an amusing fashion.

Jews For Jesus and Ivan Alvarez de Jesus arrived on the American scene at about the same time. The former was founded in 1973, an organization that attempts to reconcile a belief in Jesus with the apparent contradictions between the Jesus as described in Christian doctrine and the Messiah that was anticipated to be the fulfillment of Jewish teachings.

Ivan, I suspect, didn’t know too much about that religious movement. He was probably too busy playing baseball. His major league debut was in 1974 for the Los Angeles Dodgers. De Jesus became the Cubs starting shortstop in 1977 and stayed at that position, usually batting leadoff, until he was traded to Philadelphia in early 1982. Now a Cubs coach, de Jesus is best remembered, at least by me, for two things.

The first is that the Cubs received future Hall-of-Famer Ryan Sandberg and Larry Bowa in the aforementioned trade.

The second?

The following Wrigley Field moment, which I observed on TV.

De Jesus was at the plate. Out in the left field bleachers, that fact did not go unnoticed.

A couple of Cubs fans, tongues firmly planted in their cheeks, held up a white sign with bold lettering.

It read (scroll down):

JEWS FOR DE JESUS

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