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Looking for Jack McKeon in the morning? He’s almost certainly at Mass

Aug 3, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

jack mckeon marlins

Interesting story about Marlins manager Jack McKeon in the New York Times today. Seems that every morning — at home or on the road — he goes to Mass.  He’s done it for 60 years, and it’s just part of his game day routine, even if the team plane got in at 3AM and he has every reason to stay in bed.

I’m personally a non-believer so I can’t speak to the feelings and fulfillment McKeon describes as the result of his daily ritual, but my mother and the majority of my relatives and all of my wife’s are Catholic.  I got married in a Catholic ceremony and I have always admired the ritual for its own sake.  Even if you take the spiritual aspects of it away, there seems to be a peace and order of mind that comes from it all.  Calmness and certainty in a often frustrating and often mad world.

Not that McKeon or any true Catholic can take the spiritual aspects away. This is just my own observation from afar. And no real deep point here. Just neat to see another side of a baseball figure who, in a lot of ways, has been reduced to caricature has he’s gotten older, and that’s always nice.

  1. Paul Zummo - Aug 3, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Great story. As a Catholic I always felt more centered when I was going to Mass every day. My current schedule makes that more difficult to to do, but it’s a habit I’d like to get back into.

    • Tapps - Aug 3, 2011 at 5:25 PM

      What exactly is there to “thumbs down” in this comment? Yeesh.

      • clydeserra - Aug 3, 2011 at 6:10 PM

        Three mea culpa’s

  2. Mark Armour - Aug 3, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    My personal story is like Craig’s. However, the people I know who *quietly* go about their personal religious observances seem to be, generally speaking, happy and centered. McKeon seems to fit this.

  3. tadthebad - Aug 3, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Great post. I’m not religious but I’ve always felt the same way about the ceremonies performed in a Catholic church. There’s a certain comfort to them even though my involvement doesn’t go beyond standing/sitting when everyone else does.

  4. trevorb06 - Aug 3, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Kudos Craig! I don’t believe in god, the diety, but I do believe in what god and religion symbolize. You don’t need to thump the bible to live a moral life. :-)
    “I contend that we are both athiests, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. Once you realize why you dismss all other possible gods you will understand why I dismiss yours”

    • huff94 - Aug 3, 2011 at 7:30 PM

      You don’t need a bible to live a moral life. However you need to accept Jesus as your lord and savior to be saved. A belief in God is not a gimmick to improve your morality, it is much deeper than that and you will not understand until you allow God into your life.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 3, 2011 at 9:05 PM

        From what, the non-existant afterlife? And drop the sanctimony about not understanding. Plenty of non-believers oncr believed. Then they rejected faith because none of it added up.

      • aceshigh11 - Aug 3, 2011 at 9:28 PM

        Somebody is “huff”ing something, alright.

        What a sanctimonious load of shit. Go sell crazy somewhere else.

      • Old Gator - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:15 PM

        Okay, okay, let’s have a little peace here.


  5. addictedzone - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    You’ve failed to mention the rest of the ritual. After mass he is off to run in the outfield and then the whirlpool with a cigar. The religious aspect of Jack goes far beyond the morning trip to mass, and without Juan Pierre on the roster he is able to do the entire ritual in the peace.

  6. garlicfriesandbaseball - Aug 4, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    Well you might consider yourself a non-believer, but with all that culture and heritage in your family you might be kidding yourself. We Catholics are notorious for our self-imposed guilt and there’s a reason for that. It surfaces in many ways. My sister always said “once a Catholic, always a Catholic. They’ve got you!” I thought your article was sincere and genuine. Thanks for writing it.

    • Kevin S. - Aug 4, 2011 at 3:17 AM

      The church’s attitudes towards women, gays and victims of priestly abuse made it quite easy to get away, actually.

      • Old Gator - Aug 4, 2011 at 9:31 AM

        Ever see The Boys of St. Vincent’s? That’d drive you right into a Madrassa. Great performance by Henry Czerny, one of the most underrated actors of his generation (let’s here it from our boreal correspondents on this one). It’s the kind of film that can kill your appetite for anything non-alcoholic for a week, though – all the worse because it’s true.

        The Church has always shown an acute proclivity for fascist regimes, being an ultimate authoritarian structure itself. Salazar. Franco. Pinochet. More tinpot Latin American caudillos than you can shake a censor at. Good buddies all. The children were the most stomach turning victims but hardly the least of it.

  7. Old Gator - Aug 4, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    hear it.

    Edit function!

    Edit function!


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