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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Saint now, pastor later

Seminarian pitches for local team

During the spring semester of Charlie Ruud’s first year at Luther Seminary, he decided to attend the open tryout for the St. Paul [Minn.] Saints, a team in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. He threw well, but the team didn’t need a pitcher.

Charlie Ruud takes the mound for the
Charlie Ruud takes the mound for the St. Paul Saints now. Later the Luther Seminary student plans to work from a pulpit.
Weeks later, Ruud’s mind was elsewhere—on Aug. 6 he would be marrying his fiancee, Becky, whom he met at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn.—when the Saints asked if he could make an emergency start in the second game of a doubleheader. However, it was during his honeymoon. Ruud declined, knowing it could have been his only opportunity to play professional baseball.

But the Saints called again soon. Another doubleheader. The newlywed pitched the second game, throwing all seven innings and earning the win. Because the team’s starting pitcher in game one had been injured, Ruud took his spot for the next game and joined the pitching rotation.

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