Dominican Sister Steals the Show with a Perfect First Pitch

During Saturday’s Chicago White Sox game, Sister Mary Jo Sobieck wowed the crowd and became an internet sensation by throwing a perfect strike during the ceremonial first pitch. A theology teacher at Marian Catholic High School, Sister Mary Jo has become so popular that the White Sox created a bobblehead doll of her and have already sold 17,000 dolls. Watch Sister Mary Jo’s amazing first pitch below:


Sister Mary Jo Sobieck recently stopped by Morning Air® to share what it was like being up on the mound, and her experience of becoming an internet sensation.

“It’s really turning into something unbelievable, she said. “It was Marian Catholic Night at Guaranteed Rate Field, and the Dominican Sisters of Springfield founded Marian Catholic High School in 1958, 60 years ago. I am blessed to continue that legacy there these 60 years later. There are four sisters there, and I believe the administration wanted to honor our presence and have one of us throw out that pitch. I was the one who was blessed to be selected.”

As millions of people have already seen, she was a good choice. But this wasn’t Sister Mary Jo’s first rodeo, as she told Morning Air host John Harper, “I grew up as an athlete, and I believe that is a gift God has given me in my life. I started playing organized sports when I was in 5th grade, and I was a 3-sport athlete in high school and college. It comes naturally to me – as does the joy of life and the Gospel. And that’s really what I want to share.”

So, as an athlete, what was it like to be standing on the mound during a big league game? Sister Mary Jo said, “My goodness, I never imagined that I would be standing on the hill of a major league baseball field, but here I am. And I believe it is part of God’s plan to use me. I try to encourage that with the kids every day. Go into life enthusiastic, open to whatever message God has for them, and to allow God to direct that and it will be for good. Even if it’s difficult, it’s for our growth and the continuation of salvation history.”

On and off the mound, Sister Mary Jo exuded joy and confidence, and she credits her religious vocation for allowing her to be herself and live a life of fullness and holiness.

“When you do your best, God does the rest,” she said. “That’s my continual message to the kids. And I’ve been blessed to be part of a community – the Springfield Dominican Sisters – who have allowed me to be myself. I think that’s what called me to their community. They are a wonderful group of women who are all unique and live their lives fully and joyfully. I knew that in becoming part of that community I would be encouraged to do the same. And it’s been an absolute blessing in my life and I can’t thank them enough for giving me the freedom to do that, and the opportunities I’ve been given through that.”

“We’re all in, and when we live that with joy, the Gospel is absolutely correct, it comes back to you 100-fold,” she continued. “I certainly don’t want this to be about me, but I have been blessed throughout my life and I just want to continue to give back. That’s what called me to religious life, because I want to give back.”

Listen to the full conversation with Sister Mary Jo Sobieck below:

Morning Air can be heard weekdays from 6:00 – 9:00 a.m. Eastern/3:00 – 6:00 a.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio and the Relevant Radio App.

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.