I repent in infield dirt and line chalk. I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote a couple of pieces on behalf of Christianity Today supporting a lenient immigration policy. But when I read a recent press release from Major League Baseball (MLB), I saw the light. I now have eyes to see and ears to hear. Verily, verily.

It dawned on me that the one part of the economy catastrophically affected by our current immigration policies has been something as American as apple pie: professional baseball. This year, MLB tells us, 27.4 percent of major leaguers are foreign born. And that's nothing compared to the minor leagues, where 45.1 percent of the players are foreign-born.

And the AFL-CIO thinks it has problems! In any event, when it comes to baseball, this is (pun-intended) a major-league problem.

1. These "guest workers" are taking jobs from qualified Americans!

We're not talking about washing uniforms or shining batting helmets, which is work beneath any true patriot. We're talking about 223 ultra-high-paying jobs in the majors, and 2,964 modest paying jobs in the minors. So immigrants are taking jobs that Americans want after all! Believe me, you can go down any college baseball roster and find well-qualified, red-blooded American boys who would die to fill those major and minor league slots.

Okay, granted, that the presence of the foreign born—the likes of Albert Pujols (Dominican Republic), Ichiro Suzuki (Japan), and Andruw Jones (Curacao!)—has dramatically raised the bar of professional baseball, forcing the Americans who do play to work harder to remain competitive. Overall immigrants are raising the quality of play. But of course the issue is not achieving excellence as a nation, or fostering a strong work-ethic ...

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Play Ball
From 2005 to 2007, "Play Ball" examined the relationship of sports and faith: sports is important precisely because it is a form of play, that is, a manifestation of the Sabbath. Contributors included Mark Galli, Collin Hansen, Mark Moring, and others.
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