Hiram at Bat

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Darin A. Lahners

Many of my fellow Midnight Freemasons have no idea that I belong to another secret society. Ok – so it’s not really a ‘secret society’, but I play in a draft simulation league using the Diamond Mind Computer Baseball Game along with 20 other so like – minded individuals. Our league has a ‘Reunion’ each year at our annual draft. Normally, we have at least 7 of us owners get together in person, while the others are in a chat room. We draft players that have made their MLB debut in the past year, or that are on the Free Agent List. I had the number 1 overall pick this past year, and selected NL Rookie of the Year, Cody Bellinger. But enough about my league and team, if you’re really interested in this, you can visit my league at: http://www.midleague.com/. My team is the Spartans in the Yount Division. 

Every February when Pitchers and Catchers report for Spring Training, hope springs eternal for every baseball fan. As a long suffering Cubs Fan, every year was ‘This is the Year!’ for me. Thank the Great Architect that in 2016 my prayers were answered and we won the World Series breaking a 108 year drought. Just think about the number of Master Masons that were raised during that time! But would you believe that there are some more Masonic connections?

When it comes to our National Pastime, there have been many players and executives that have been Freemasons. The list includes: Grover Cleveland Alexander, Ethan Allen, Charles Albert "Chief" Bender, William Benswanger ,Tyrus "Ty" Cobb, Mickey Cochrane, Branch Rickey, Authur "Dazzy" Vance, Denton T. "Cy" Young, Carl Hubbell, Honus Wagner, Alexander Cartwright, Jr., Rogers Hornsby, Mordecai ‘3 Finger’ Brown, John Franklin 'Home Run' Baker, and Edward Trowbridge Collins, Sr., and “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, among others. A performer of one of the most famous poems about Baseball: ‘Casey at the Bat’, William DeWolf Hopper, was also a Freemason. Although Abner Doubleday is credited with inventing the game of Baseball, there’s evidence that this is false. Most Baseball Historians actually credit Alexander Cartwright Jr. , a Freemason, with having a role in developing the “Knickerbocker Rules” upon which the modern game rules are based. However, an article in SABR magazine in 2014 call this into question (http://sabr.org/research/creation-alexander-cartwright-myth). Like Freemasonry, it seems that the actual origin of Baseball is mysterious. 

There is no doubt though, that Freemasonry must have had a hand in the creation of Baseball. The baseball diamond itself is a Square. Furthermore, the Square and Compass can be imagined upon the Baseball Diamond. The Square extending down the first base and third base foul lines from home plate , while the compass overlays it being formed by drawing an imaginary line starting at second base extending towards first and third base. The semi-circle of the outfield walls would be drawn with the compass. The “G” resting on the pitcher’s mound.

Furthermore, the way in which the baseball diamond is laid out, evokes the Masonic Lodge. You have bases in the four cardinal directions, East, North, West, South. The lodge is laid out in a similar design, but instead of a square, it is in an oblong rectangle from East to West, between North and South. In fact, you could almost think of the pitcher’s mound being in the same place as the Altar. The field is cut in a checker board pattern, evoking the Mosaic Pavement which reminds us of human life checkered with Good and Evil. At Wrigley Field, home of my beloved Chicago Cubs, you have the Ivy which returns year after year, evoking the memory of the Acacia sprig. Furthermore, there are four stations in the Lodge, The Worshipful Master in the East, The Senior Warden in the West, The Junior Warden in the South and The Tyler. If one considers The Tyler’s duty, to guard the lodge from those that are not initiated, you can see the duty of Catcher as being similar. The Catcher has to guard home plate, to try to keep the other team from scoring.

But there are further allusions. Baseball like Masonry, is a system of ritualistic rules. Like the candidates move from Station to Station during a degree, the runners move from base to base. There are three bases in Baseball around which the player must travel before going home and scoring a run. There are three degrees in Freemasonry that a Candidate must proceed through before becoming a voting member of his home lodge. 

Like in Masonry, numbers play an important role in Baseball. The number 3 and number 9 hold special significance.

According to Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry: 
“Everyone is aware of the singular properties of the number nine, which, multiplied by itself or any other number whatever, gives a result whose final sum is always nine, or always divisible by nine. Nine multiplied by each of the ordinary numbers, produces an arithmetical progression, each member whereof, composed of two figures, and presents a remarkable fact; for example:

1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 10
9 . 18 . 27 . 36 . 45 . 54 . 63 . 72 . 81 . 90

The first line of figures gives the regular series, from 1 to 10. The second reproduces this line doubly; first ascending from the first figure of 18, and then returning from the second figure of 81. In Freemasonry, nine derives its value from its being the product of three multiplied into itself, and consequently in Masonic language the number nine is always denoted by the expression three times three. For a similar reason, 27, which is 3 times 9, and 81, which is 9 times 9, are esteemed ax sacred numbers in the advanced Degrees.” Is it any wonder then that baseball rules call for:

· 3 strikes

· 3 outs

· 9 fielding positions

· 9 innings

· 27 outs

· 81 games at home

· 81 games on the road

This might also explain why baseball is so adherent to statistics. In the past 30 years, you have seen a movement towards a study of advanced statistics called SABERMETRICS, which is the application of statistical analysis to baseball records, especially in order to evaluate and compare the performance of individual players. Arithmetic or mathematics, being one of the seven liberal arts and sciences, hold a special place in Freemasonry.

Of course, there’s no direct proof of Freemasonry having influence over America’s past-time. However, there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence. Maybe the next time you watch a baseball game, you’ll look at it in a new light. There can be no denying though, that like Freemasonry, Baseball has spread throughout the world. Like Freemasonry, it brings together men of every race, creed and background. Is there anything more Masonic than that?


WB Darin A. Lahners is our Co-Managing Editor. He is a host and producer of the "Meet, Act and Part" podcast. He is currently serving the Grand Lodge of Illinois Ancient Free and Accepted Masons as the Area Education Officer for the Eastern Masonic Area. He is a Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph. He is also a plural member of Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL), where he is also a Past Master. He’s a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter No. 282, and a member of the Salt Fork Shrine Club under the Ansar Shrine. You can reach him by email at darin.lahners@gmail.com.  

1 comment:

  1. "Now, listen here! I'm trying to teach you the names of the fellas in the Lodge! Who is the Worshipful Master, What is the Senior Warden, and I Don't Know is the Tyler!"


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