The newest pitching prospect for the Chicago White Sox can throw strikes with ease and also happens to wear a habit.
Sister Mary Jo Sobieck wowed the crowd at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago by whipping a ball right down the middle of the plate during her ceremonial first pitch on Saturday.
Wearing a white Marian Catholic jersey, the right-hander looked like a seasoned baseball pro, even playfully bouncing the ball off her right arm before delivering the heater.
The Dominican nun was there to throw out the first ball to ceremonial catcher Lucas Giolito, a pitcher for the White Sox, as part of Marian Catholic night at the stadium in honor of the nearby high school in Chicago Heights.
“That was awesome,” 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.”
She became the latest Chicago nun to cause a sensation. In March, Sister Jean-Dolores Schmidt, a 98-year-old nun and team chaplain, was a beloved presence on the Loyola-Chicago men’s basketball team that made a Cinderella run to the Final Four.
While Sobieck made it look easy, there was plenty of hard work that went into preparing for her big moment.
It’s no surprise that Sobieck looked like she felt right at home on the pitcher’s mound. She played softball and volleyball at The College of St. Scholastica in Minnesota and grew up in a family of 10 children who all played sports, according to a 2008 profile in The Times of Northwest Indiana.
Giolito and his fellow pitchers on the White Sox better watch their backs or they might lose their spot in the rotation after Sister Mary Jo’s sparkling performance.
“She was pretty good, actually,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria told reporters after the game, which the Sox lost 3-1 to the Kansas City Royals.
“I was like, ‘OK, she looks like she can play a little bit,’ so we started talking to her. I think she said, ‘I played center and short.’ I said to her, ‘Can you play for us?’ She said, ‘Sure.”’
Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.