Watch This Nun’s ESPY-Nominated Curveball

Photo credit: MLB Network / NBC Sports Chicago

A Catholic nun is a candidate in this year’s ESPY awards for the curveball she tossed as the opening pitch to a Major League Baseball game last summer. Check it out:

That’s Sister Mary Jo Sobieck, OP, bumping the ball off her bicep before firing a filthy yakker to Lucas Giolito as the ceremonial start to a Chicago White Sox game in August of last year. The moment was captured on video and went viral with the tagline: “Don’t sleep on Sister Mary Mo’s curveball.”

The moment captured so much attention it generated a bobblehead likeness and even a baseball card for Sister Mary Jo. Now, the event has been nominated in the ESPYs, the annual sports award show hosted by ESPN. 

It’s a great moment that reveals the wide appeal of baseball. We fell in love with it because it also shows the varied interests and personalities of the men and women in religious life. Yes, they live a countercultural life of service and promise poverty, chastity, and obedience — but they’re real people, too. 

Sister Mary Jo teaches at Marian Catholic High School in Springfield, Illinois. She played softball through college and has coached high school teams. Read this post from Angelus for the whole story, including what Sister Mary Jo said about how she’s handling the celebrity:

“The best gift I can give now is to give a good example of what it means to be virtuous,” Sister Mary Jo said. “It’s transitioned to what happens on the field of life. I try my best and sometimes I fail miserably and I get back up and try again. You get up the next day and try again.”

Here at the midpoint of the baseball season, it’s a good time to be reminded that a game where the best hitters fail 66 percent of the time can teach us a lot about perseverance. Sister Mary Jo’s example also captures the way faith sustains us: it gives us hope to carry on and the encouragement to keep striving for the good.

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