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!