Remembering Jack Faszholz

Since we’re a couple days away from the annual rite of Opening Day—the Cardinals will host the Cubs on ESPN Sunday night to resume baseball’s best rivalry—and since Concordia Seminary’s fantasy baseball league will have its official draft tonight, I thought it good, right, and salutary to mark the recent passing of Rev. Jack Faszholz. He passed away on March 25, a couple weeks shy of his 90th birthday.

Coach Faszholz was (and still is) a local legend in the St. Louis Lutheran community. By the time I matriculated at Lutheran High School South, I was too young to have sat in his classroom or pitch for one of his baseball teams. Nevertheless, his name was on the plaque outside the gymnasium, and alumni invoked him regularly with deep reverence.

Faszholz graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1958, on the up-to-this-moment-unknown, 11-year plan. It took him over a decade to complete seminary not because of any academic or personal deficiencies, but because he would take class in the fall semester then break to play professional baseball in the spring and summer. All in all, he played 12 seasons between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals organizations, getting his shot in the majors with the Cardinals in 1953. His pastoral career included 20 years in Lutheran high schools in St. Louis and finished with 12 years as professor and athletic director at Concordia University, Texas. He was inducted into Concordia’s Hall of Fame in 2015. He was a much beloved pastor, teacher, professor, coach, and administrator.

Baseball writer Glen Sparks has written an excellent profile of Jack Faszholz for the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). And the LCMS Reporter interviewed him in 2013.

Requiescat in pace, Preacher.

And after a moment of silence, let’s play ball!

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3 Comments

  1. Wayne Arling April 4, 2017
    Reply

    I had the privilege and honor to play baseball for the Reverend Jack Faszholz. I was never a pitcher until one day my sophomore year in High School, “The Rev” told me I was a pitcher. Under his close eye, I became a success, climaxing with an all-state award in 1977. I l almost got to play for him again at Concordia in Austin, but my career was cut short due to an arm injury.
    My favorite “Rev” story was my Senior year at LHSS. MICDS was doing all they could to get under my skin, but I was pitching a one hit shutout (6 to 0) when one of the on deck batters got a little too personal. We will just leave it at that. The umpire and “The Rev” came out to calm me down and told me that if I threw too close to this guy, I would be ejected. I hit the guy in the back. Well deserved? Right! A disgruntled “Rev” walked to the mound, put his arm around me and walked me down the third baseline to the showers. Never said a word. I asked him “what would you have done?’ With a gleam in his eye he gave me a no comment smile and turned back to the field to manage the rest of the game. With that look and smile, he had given me his approval. I think. He always had you thinking. Always!
    I love “The Rev” and have always spoken highly about him. I have missed him over the years and regret not seeing him for quite some time. He was mine and a lot of young men’s mentor. Reverend Jack Faszholz was an outstanding person, reverend, teacher, father, mentor, coach and friend!
    Thank you Reverend Faszholz!!!!!!!! You will be missed! See you in heaven someday!
    Wayne Arling
    LHSS Class of 1977

  2. Rick Marrs, Concordia Seminary April 12, 2017
    Reply

    I didn’t know Jack Faszholz well, but did have the opportunity to coach against him in one game in 1986, St. John’s College, Winfield, KS vs. Concordia, TX. I was coaching along with now Iowa East District President, then player-coach Brian Sanders. We had a solid team, but not strong enough to beat Concordia, TX. I didn’t know Jack well, but his brother Tom Faszholz was a tennis coach and mentor to me at Concordia, River Forest (now Chicago, of course). Tom’s story is equally interesting as his brother’s, but in basketball and tennis, not baseball. Tom, it was great to see you last fall in the celebration of your 80th birthday. If you see this, I’m sorry for the loss of your brother, but looking forward to playing tennis and baseball and other sports with you both in the New Creation, because our Lord Jesus Christ conquered death for us all on that first Easter.

  3. Don Hinchey May 15, 2017
    Reply

    I’m sure every baseball fan has heard of the Rochester Red Wings, but I grew up a member of the “knot hole gang” in the 50’s and 60’s. Jack was on that prestigious farm team and spent a fair amount of time at St. Matthew’s in Rochester, particularly during VBS. I thought it was cool that a real live professional ball player would mix it up with us kids.

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