With Nationals’ World Series victory, Washington National Cathedral wins bet

By Egan Millard
Posted Oct 31, 2019

[Episcopal News Service] The Very Rev. Barkley Thompson, dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Houston, Texas, did some dressing up on Halloween – but it wasn’t the costume he’d been hoping to wear. That’s because he lost the World Series bet he made with his counterpart at Washington National Cathedral when the Washington Nationals beat the Houston Astros on Oct. 30 to win the World Series.

According to the terms of the wager Thompson made with the Very Rev. Randy Hollerith, dean of the National Cathedral, whoever’s home team loses the World Series has to wear the winning team’s colors during a Sunday service. So, in a video posted on Oct. 31, Thompson took off his blue-and-orange Astros stole and modeled the Nationals-red one he’ll wear on Sunday.

“It was a spectacular and hard-fought seven-game World Series,” Thompson said, “and unbelievably, it did not turn out as we in Houston and at Christ Church Cathedral had hoped.”

With an expression of anguish on his face, he spoke the words he never expected would leave his lips: “Go Nationals.”

The National Cathedral, meanwhile, was going all out in its celebration of the home team, projecting the Nationals logo onto the façade, inviting mascots up to the pulpit and ringing the bells for a full hour.

But of course, at the end of the day, it wasn’t a real rivalry at all. Instead, as Thompson said, it was “a friendly wager … that demonstrated to the world how friends can disagree with respect and in love.”

“We don’t give thanks for winning a ball game,” the National Cathedral tweeted. “We give thanks for the Nationals bringing joy and unity to a city in desperate need of both.”

– Egan Millard is an assistant editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at emillard@episcopalchurch.org.