Bishops from the home dioceses of the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals have made a bet on the outcome of the 2011 World Series.
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, Mo. challenged Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Forth Worth, Texas, a former Cardinals fan, to the bet involving local food items, charitable donations, and a Stetson cowboy hat.
In a joint press release, the dioceses explained that Fort Worth's bishop will send the traditional Texan hat to Archbishop Carlson, along with a supply of “authentic” Texas barbeque, if the Cardinals win the series.
But if St. Louis loses, the city's bishop will send a supply of local delicacies to Bishop Vann, including toasted ravioli, Gus's pretzels, Schlafly Beer, and Fitz's Root Beer.
The St. Louis archdiocese said Bishop Vann would also receive “a Cardinals baseball cap to replace the caps Bishop Vann discarded when he moved to Texas,” if the Rangers take the trophy.
The winning bishop's Catholic Charities office will also receive $10 for every run scored in the series.
Bishop Vann once rooted for the St. Louis Cardinals while studying at the city's Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. Before that, the Springfield, Ill. native grew up watching the Cardinals' minor-league farm team, the Springfield Cardinals.
According to the St. Louis Archdiocese, Archbishop Carlson “looks forward to the opportunity to remind Bishop Vann of his strong St. Louis roots and change his allegiance back to the St. Louis Cardinals,” in the event of a Cardinals win.
Meanwhile, Bishop Vann is said to be looking forward to “demonstrating that one must follow God’s will and the blessings that come with conversion.”
But the Bishop of Fort Worth also sees a trend at work.
His diocese reminded Archbishop Carlson that “North Texas hosted Super Bowl XLV in the diocese in February, the NBA championships in the spring which North Texas’ Dallas Mavericks won and now the World Series,” which Bishop Vann is “confident the Texas Rangers will win.”
As of Oct. 24 the series is tied, with each side having won two games.