ashes to ashes

A Group Wants MLB to Let You Spread Dead Family Members' Ashes in Parks

According to an ESPN poll, 75 percent of those surveyed would be down to spread some ashes inside an MLB ballpark.

by Sean Newell
Oct 30 2017, 9:53pm

Screen capture from "The Big Lebowski"/Working Title Films

According to a documentary, San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence helped Dodgers fan sneak the ashes of her deceased father onto the Dodger Stadium field last month. The Dodgers apparently turned down the family's initial request, so the documentary filmmaker, Matt Liston, reached out to Pence, who wore a necklace with the remains locked inside.

This is apparently the game, and you can see Pence wearing a necklace with some kind of locket type thing attached to it.

More interesting than Pence's nice gesture for a rival fanbase, however, is what is mentioned slightly lower down in ESPN's writeup: apparently there is a group actively petitioning Major League Baseball to block off some time for fans to come onto the field and spread the ashes of dead loved ones.

Liston says the Pence-Janiszewski episode is part of a campaign to get Major League Baseball teams to designate days when they would grant the wishes of fans who would like to spread up to an ounce of a loved one's ashes in designated areas of the park. He cites ESPN SportsNation poll data indicating more than three-quarters of those surveyed were willing to spread a family member or friend's ashes at a stadium, and says officials of MLB teams told him that this is already frequently done clandestinely.

That is a pretty specific and bizarre campaign!

I mean, do what you want when you die. Get buried, launched into space, sent off on the water in a burning viking boat, cremated, whatever. Have them spread your stuff wherever you want (just preferably not on a windy day). But, like, taking a fight to MLB so you can scatter your dead aunt's ashes in Wrigley? (Actually with the whole wind thing, maybe just skip Wrigley altogether.) Is that really worth it?

I guess it's better to ask than just dumping remains on the turf, though, like someone did after Auburn's crazy Iron Bowl win a few years ago.

Still, I think umpires understanding and properly interpreting the strike zone is a more important issue for MLB right now.