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St. Louis Church Asks Bitter Cardinals Fans to Donate Albert Pujols Jerseys Instead of Burning Them

Albert Pujols gets a hit during the 2011 World Series
Jamie Squire, Getty Images

There was much consternation in St. Louis last week after Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols made his way toward a glittering paycheck with the Los Angeles Angels that will pay him more than $250 million over the course of 10 years. While most residents of the angered city saw an opportunity to set fire to pricey MLB clothing, one church saw an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.

The Gathering is a relatively new United Methodist church in St. Louis that caters to a mostly younger crowd. Last week, as citizens of their city began sending Pujols jerseys up in flames as a way of expressing their anger at his departure, the church decided there was a better way to handle the disappointment.

According to Reverend Matt Miofsky, pastor at the Gathering, “We heard people were burning their Pujols jerseys, and someone said, ‘Why don’t we ask them to donate the jerseys, and we’ll give them away?’”

Dubbing it the “Recycle the Five Drive,” the church set out on a crusade of Facebook and Twitter posts to collect any unwanted number 5 jerseys. They began collecting shirts last week and are accepting donations during business hours and on Sundays. A member of the church has a connection in the Angels organization and the church is now working with the team to find a clothing bank where they can donate the jerseys.


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