Kerry Ligtenberg and Saint-hood

Kerry Ligtenberg is a pro baseball model of Benedictine stability in the modern transitory norm. I got to see him pitch the Sunday night before Memorial Day when he closed the game for the St. Paul Saints against the Sioux City Canaries. He did so quickly and with style: two strikeouts and a pop fly out to end the game.

See, I”m a long time Atlanta Braves fan. (When I first began to love baseball, Joe Torre was an All-Star catcher for the Braves and Hank Aaron was hitting homeruns most nights and nobody”d ever heard of steroids.) Kerry Ligtenberg pitched for the Braves back in the late ”90s and early ”00s and often did so brilliantly, especially during his rookie season. Injuries plagued him and, as is so often the case, he bounced around in the majors for a few years, then in the minors. Now he”s with the independent St. Paul Saints, still pitches hard, and, as he so clearly demonstrated that night, is highly effective.
Ligtenberg had great success, though shortlived, as a big league pitcher. He had the surgeries, took the time off and did the necessary come-back therapy to stay in the game. He has pitched hard and well night in and night out for every team he has played for, major league and minor league teams alike. He has never been a big money player; he has always and remains a dependable asset.
Stability? Kerry Ligtenberg hangs in, throws hard, bounces back from tough breaks and remains himself year after year. That is exactly what St. Benedict would expect of a pitcher, a monk or of me. Maybe it”s no coincidence Kerry has found Saint-hood in St. Paul.

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One thought on “Kerry Ligtenberg and Saint-hood

  1. Lovely last line! I think too of how much he must love the game, to be committed to it still when he’s bounced back to the minor leagues–and to endure so very many years of long exhausting bus rides to be able to pitch. Wonder how he’s maintained his stability on the travel front.

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