A minor league baseball team in Minnesota will change its name for one night to salute atheists.
On Aug. 10th, the St. Paul Saints will become the Mr. Paul Aints. The team plans to cover the letter “S” in all Saints signs and logos. In addition, the players will wear special “Aints” jerseys and American Atheists president David Silverman will toss out the first pitch.
“We want to show that atheists can have fun,” said Minnesota Atheists president August Berkshire told USA Today. “We picked the name not as a political statement but just as something that was fun.”
Derek Sharrer, the team’s general manager, told the Associated Press that the team has “no intention of mocking or making fun of anyone’s faith.”
The minor league team has traditionally hosted religious-themed events including Christian concerts. Sharrer said it would be “hypocritical” to tell atheists no.
The team is partly owned by actor Bill Murray. In 2010 they gave away a rotating Cro-Magnon/Charles Darwin bobblehead doll to salute the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species,” USA Today reported.
Atheists appear to be thrilled with the decision to rename the team. One blogger wondered fans would sing “Dog Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch, the newspaper reported.
Joe Soucheray, a writer for Twincities.com, addressed the issue in a column titled, “For this promo night, Saints’ inspiration isn’t at all divine.”
“Now, I realize that the Saints have always endeared themselves to wacky promotions, but I needed to know who in God’s name had such a severe brain meltdown that they came up with this one,” Soucheray wrote.