September 5, 2016
Prayer at Connie Mack Stadium: July 20, 1969 (“The Iggle has landed”)
Well, it would never happen today!
No way – wouldn’t happen…
And – think if that’s a good thing or not?
As I’m reading the book Miracle Collapse: The 1969 Chicago Cubs by Doug Feldmann, I’ve gotten to the All Star break – the All-Star Game was played in Washington on July 22nd. As you history buffs are probably aware, something significant happened at about that time. It was the time of Apollo 11 – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. Here’s how Mr. Feldmann writes about it on pages 174 – 175:
After losing the next day the Cubs swept a doubleheader from the Phillies [of course] on July 20, the final games before the All-Star break. In the third inning of the nightcap, with the Cubs batting, play was halted abruptly. It was seconds after 4:17 PM Eastern Daylight Time, and the two teams silently went and stood along their respective baselines and looked skyward. Word had been sent from Armstrong to mission control in Houston:
“Houston… Tranquility Base here… the Eagle has landed.”
A prayer was said for the men over the loudspeaker at Connie Mack Stadium, asking for continued safety for the first human-made craft that had landed on the moon. The game resumed after a recording of Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” followed the prayer over the intercom.
Providential, isn’t it? The Cubs had cursed themselves with a mock-prayer service on the bus going from the airport to their hotel on July 7, 1969; now, just about two weeks later, a genuine prayer to God (Elohim, Yahweh, Abba Father) was offered over the loudspeaker at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia. And – the Flyers would use the same recording of Kate Smith’s song during their road to the Stanley Cup in 1973 – 74. (In fact, Kate Smith herself sang “God Bless America” at Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals in May of 1974 – the Flyers won!) But today – there’s no way that would be allowed. Interesting: in 1969, the nation was going away from the one True God. Prayer in public schools had been outlawed in 1962; Bible reading in public schools was banned in 1963. But the Lord is always working – real public prayer was not uncommon.
Just a thought in passing… we desperately need to pray for our nation today!