May 24, 2015
Robert P. Lockwood, Franciscan Newsletter, May 2015
Exposition Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates 1890-1909
The next day at the Allegheny Police Station, Father Walsh showed up with a fellow priest. The priest spotted an old buddy who was a retired detective. He asked the former detective how he could get his friend out of this mess. His answer: have him apoloize to Dreyfuss.
So Father Walsh, finally admitting his identity, stepped up to Dreyfuss and apoligized profusely for his actions the day before. "I accept your apology," Dreyfuss replied. "I bear no enmity and have no desire to prosecute you," Dreyfuss said, while still sporting a shiner.
The charges were dropped. But the story got added cachet with the report that Pittsburgh diocesan priests were banned from baseball games. As far away as San Francisco, newspapers reported that "the Right Rev. Mr. Kittel, acting in the absence of Bishop Canovin, who sailed for Rome, has ordered all priests to stay away from ballgames. In the past from 60 to 70 priests have attended every contest." I couldn't find any evidence that priests were actually banned from ballgames for any serious length of time. Perhaps Father Kitel issued such an edict to the priests in Bishop Canevin's name while he was away. But there was no such statute in diocesan files.
And what of Father Walsh? He was pulled from his church the day of the altercation. He was assigned after a two-month wait to a parish far away from the ballpark. His career as a deadhead was over. But his priestly vocation continued. Father Walsh would later serve as pastor in four parishes down through the years. He died a priest in good standing on July 21, 1923.