Throwing a ceremonial first pitch at a White Sox game is a memorable experience for the person who throws it.
However, it’s not usually memorable for the White Sox fans in the stands, if they’re even in the stands. In many cases, the fans are still getting their concessions when the ceremonial baseballs are tossed from the grass in front of the mound.
But on Saturday, Sister Mary Jo Sobieck changed all that.
The nun from Marian Catholic High School threw a bullet from 45 feet and wowed the crowd, which happened to be filled with families from the school in Chicago Heights. Her show on the mound included more than just a first pitch.
According to the Cut4 article about the event, Sobieck is from Minnesota and is actually a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. “But she wants to be a part of falling in love with the Sox.”
Lucas Giolito caught her pitch and got a great look at her other skills from his view at the plate. Before she threw the pitch, she bounced the ball off of her arm. She also warmed up a bit, playing a little catch with Rick Renteria. Sobieck reportedly fielded the ball barehanded after giving her mitt to Renteria.
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He was so impressed with her skills that he jokingly asked her to join the Sox. According to the Cut4 article, Sobieck played softball – centerfield and shortstop. It’s a good bet she is quick on her feet, too.
With 162 games each year, the ceremonial activities prior to the game can get a bit redundant. But, every now and then, someone like Sobieck is able to put on a show for the crowd. This is one of a few ceremonial White Sox first pitches that became national stories this season.
Another memorable first pitch moment came when Danny Farquhar threw the first pitch in an early June game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The other came with Alex Estrada, the 7-year-old suffering from Neuroblastoma, got to be a White Sox player for the day. His pre-game moment came in mid-June.
It is important for MLB teams to consistently deliver a quality product, especially at home games. Even the pre-game, ceremonial moments can be memorable for more than just the person on the field.