The St. Paul Saints, a minor league baseball team in the Twin Cities, will become the “Mr. Paul Aints” for one night in August in honor of atheism, the team and the Minnesota Atheists have announced.
“The stadium will be adorned with banners promoting both Minnesota Atheists and American Atheists. We will have a table with free swag (stickers, pamphlets) hosted by MN Atheists members at the front entrance gate to greet fans,” the Minnesota Atheists announced on their website.
“To enhance the evening even more, every mention of the word ‘Saints’ will either be covered or changed to ‘Aint,'” the atheists said.
Fridays have seen “unbelievable fun” over the years, the team said.
“Whether it was mimes, the Randy Moss hood ornament, or the Tweeting Wiener boxer shorts giveaway, the edge has been pushed and laughs have followed. Tonight, we hope for more of the same as the Saints become the Mr. Paul Aints for one night only.”
At NBC’s Hardball Talk, Matthew Pouliot noted that the Saints “definitely stepped it up a bit this this one.”
“The night will be sponsored by the Minnesota Atheists, with the president of the American Atheists throwing out the ceremonial first pitch,” he said.
“No word on what else the Aints have planned for the night, but I’ll be disappointed if some fans aren’t invited on to the diamond for infidel practice,” Pouliot wrote.
In a statement to Fox Sports North, team General Manager Derek Sharrer said the team has worked with “hundreds and hundreds” of faith-based groups over the years so “when we were approached by the Minnesota Atheists, we felt like it was within our nature to be inclusive and certainly work with them to provide them the opportunity to provide their message in the same way.”
The Minnesota Atheists said the players “will wear special game jerseys with the new name.”
“The player-worn game jerseys will be auctioned during the game and there will also be an option to order your own custom-made jersey. Proceeds from the jersey sales will benefit Minnesota Atheists.”
The atheists group said the game is being sponsored in conjunction with a day-long conference the next day in St. Paul.