Beliefs Culture

St. Paul Saints baseball team to become ‘Mr. Paul Aints’ on atheist night

RNS photo courtesy St. Paul Saints

(RNS) For one hot August night, the St. Paul Saints, a Minnesota minor league baseball team, will become the “Mr. Paul Aints” in a game sponsored by a local atheist group.

The St. Paul Saints, a Minnesota minor league baseball team, will become the “Mr. Paul Aints” in a game sponsored by a local atheist group.

Dubbed “A Night of Unbelievable Fun,” the Aug. 10 game against the Amarillo Sox will include an auction of players’ special “Aints” jerseys, fireworks and a ceremonial first pitch by David Silverman, president of American Atheists.

The letter “S” in all Saints signs and logos around the stadium will be covered, and there are planned references to Big Foot, UFOs and other targets of the skeptical community, team officials said.

“We want to show that atheists can have fun,” said August Berkshire, president of Minnesota Atheists, which is sponsoring the event with American Atheists a day before its regional conference in downtown St. Paul.

“We picked the name not as a political statement, but just as something that was fun,” Berkshire said. “We thought everybody ain’t got a belief in something so it was a word everybody could relate to. Obviously, we ain’t got a belief in God.”

One atheist blogger wondered if the seventh inning stretch would include the singing of “Dog Bless America.”

Saints General Manager Derek Sharrer told The Associated Press the team has “no intention of mocking or making fun of anyone’s faith.”

The Saints have hosted several religiously themed events before, including Christian concerts and a Jewish Heritage Night. It would be “hypocritical” to tell the atheists no, Sharrer said.

The team, which is partly owned by actor Bill Murray, has a history of unusual promotions and events. The team’s mascots are two pigs named Kim Lardashian and Kris Hamphries who carry baseballs to the umpires. 

Nor is this the Saints' first dip into the religion and science debate.  In 2010, the team gave away a rotating Cro-Magnon/Charles Darwin bobblehead doll to salute the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.”

About the author

Kimberly Winston

Kimberly Winston is a freelance religion reporter based in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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  • Do the mascot pigs get hidden on Jewish Heritage Night? Do any references to St. Paul get covered up? After all, Paul of Tarsus and the Jews have not been historical BFFs. Yet this particular group has gotten the team to prevent them from having to see the word “saint” because it offends their beliefs. Yes, it’s funny, but it’s obnoxious too. You can celebrate your faith or non-faith without demanding that someone else’s be hidden from view.

  • I think it is sad that in St Paul”Saintly City” should turn around and beUNsaintly! This really uncalledfor.

  • Why is it uncalled for Cindy? Are atheists not entitled to the same privileges afforded to Christians? Why is it when Christians aren’t given their perceived favored status they become offended?

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