Who needs angels in the outfield when you’ve got a nun with a wicked curveball on the mound?
It was Marian Catholic High School Day at a Chicago White Sox game on Saturday, so teacher Sister Mary Jo Sobieck was selected to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Now, a lot of celebrities and even actual athletes have made a mess of their first pitch chances. Pop star Carly Rae Jepsen threw it only about 5 feet. Michael Jordan, a world-class athlete and a guy who actually played minor league baseball, airmailed his chance. This dude nailed another dude in a spot dudes don’t like to get nailed in.
Taking to the mound in her habit, Sobieck pulled off a few fancy moves with the ball and then threw an absolute strike. Watch the impressive video below:
Mercy, Sister Mary Jo! https://t.co/oM9jBDT5N7
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 19, 2018
I mean, that isn’t just a decent effort for a ceremonial pitch. That pitch would have probably caught the bottom of a major league strike zone. Here’s another angle, accompanied by the White Sox Twitter account noting that it might be the most impressive ceremonial first pitch of all time.
One of the most impressive first pitches of all time. 😱 https://t.co/PA7M4iC9X5
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 18, 2018
Even the major leaguer who caught the ball was impressed.
“That was awesome,” pitcher Lucas Giolito told MLB.com. “She had a whole routine. She had it planned out. I was just lucky to be back there. She threw a perfect pitch.”
How good was the pitch? Sobieck is getting her own bobblehead.
Sobieck told ABC7 she played sports a lot growing up, so she was pretty confident going in. She threw from the mound, even though a lot of people elect to throw their first pitches from the grass in front of it.
“As an athlete, you gotta be all in, and I knew that my coaches and my teammates, when they saw that, they would be like, ‘You gotta do the real thing, and it’s all or nothing,'” Sobieck said. “I had to do it from the top.”
Here’s Sobieck practicing in the high school gym:
Remember Sister Jean of March Madness fame? The 98-year-old nun became known as Loyola University Chicago’s “not-so-secret weapon” during the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Sister Jean attends as many Loyola Ramblers home games as possible, leading the team in prayer beforehand and giving players feedback after the games. Her interviews went viral during March Madness because of her infectious enthusiasm and team spirit.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 15, 2018
“She’s like another coach,” Donte Ingram told SB Nation in March when he was a senior at Loyola. “The first game (as a freshman), it caught me off guard. I thought she was just going to pray. She prayed, but then she starts saying, ‘You’ve got to box out and watch out for 23.’”
For all the buzz Sister Jean got earlier this year, it looks like Chicago’s got a new celebrity sports nun in town!