Mayor Francis Slay Won’t Take Bet Bait During World Series Matchup

The St. Louis mayor is refusing to make a wager with Menino, but he is promoting a bet between two churches.

It’s long been a tradition—specifically for Boston—that elected officials in each city and state, whose sports teams are competing for a championship title, place a friendly wager on a given series.

But it looks as though Mayor Tom Menino’s last chance to make that bet won’t happen, since St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is refusing to gamble on the outcome of the series, and back his home team with an offering.

The World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Red Sox will be the final time that a sports team will compete for a title while Menino is in office.

On October 11, ahead of the National League Championship Series between the Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Slay said that making bets takes time away from work that his staff should be focused on, and that placing wagers wasn’t fair to other municipal leaders.

“No mayoral sports bets this post-season. That frees up time of staffers. Plus, it isn’t fair to other mayors,” he Tweeted.

But there is some silver lining to the lack of jabs that usually occur between Menino and his mayoral sports rivals. Rather than make a deal with Menino, Slay is promoting an effort started by churches in both cities.

The Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston, and Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis have launched the “Strike Out Trafficking World Series Challenge,” where money donated to the cause during the matchup will go towards the winning team’s hometown.

Residents in both cities can make donations through a special website set up by volunteers in St. Louis. All donations will go toward a nonprofit organization aiding trafficking survivors in either St. Louis, or Boston.

“Put your money where your passion is and help survivors of sex trafficking,” the organizers wrote on their website. To add to the ante, the deans of each cathedral have agreed that the losing team’s dean will wear the cap of the winning team during their cathedral’s services the Sunday after the Series concludes, “with pictures posted on both cathedrals’ Facebook pages and websites.”

While Menino and Slay won’t make a wager, Governor Deval Patrick and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon have decided to have a little fun during the series.

According to a statement from the governor’s office, under the terms of the wager, if the Red Sox win, Nixon will donate a four-pack of Cardinal Cream Soda from Fitz’s Bottling Company in the Delmar Loop; a box of chocolates from Bissinger’s Chocolates; and an assortment of Italian baked goods from Missouri Baking Company on the Hill.

If the Cardinal’s win, Patrick will donate New England Clam Chowder from Legal Sea Foods; a variety of beverages from Polar Beverages; and a selection of baked goods from Dancing Deer Bakery Co. in Boston.

“I thank the producers of these fine Massachusetts products but I don’t think my friend Governor Nixon will get to enjoy them,” said Governor Patrick.  “The team, the fans and the Commonwealth are ready for a great series with St. Louis—and a great victory.”

During the battle for the Stanley Cup, between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Bruins, Patrick and Chicago Governor Rahm Emanuel placed a wager where the loser would volunteer time at a food bank in the winner’s city. Patrick made good on his bet shortly after the Bruins fell to the Blackhawks in Game 6 of the series.