Even the Pope Gets Baseball Fever!


The Minnesota Twins might want to invite Pope Benedict XVI to visit the United States. Pope John Paul II visited the United States in September of 1987, and the Twins won the World Series. Coincidence? Okay, probably.

While many people think of the Pontiff (whichever one is in office) as a stuffy old guy, maybe there is a little bit of spring in his step that we don’t usually see. John Paul II was actually known for being quite athletic. In the video, the 67 year old Pope takes batting practice at a Grand Slam in Santa Cruz, CA. The Grand Slam rep is trying to sell “Battercize” as a winter workout – talk about offseason enthusiasm!  And, if you watch closely, you’ll see that the Pontiff finds his swing and hits quite a few solid shots!

Click here to see the John Paul II batting practice video on YouTube.

My favorite part of the video? When the Cardinal explains that the Pope plays in a softball league at the Vatican.

So…did John Paul II’s stateside hitting practice help the Twins win the the Fall Classic? Probably not. But, maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Twins to hedge their bets…

Enjoy the amusing video, and get ready for REAL Twins baseball starting soon!

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  • Brad Swanson

    He keeps his hands back pretty well, but he isn’t shifting his weight properly. His swing is mostly arms. I’m surprised how well he makes contact.

    • PMinell

      He was 67. Maybe he let his form go a little bit.

  • Greg

    Whoa, I never knew the pope was a lefty.

    • Brad Swanson

      Same here! I wonder if he throws lefty too?

      • PMinell

        Ha! That’s actually one of the first things I noticed. I just didn’t comment on it. I just tried to google that info & couldn’t find it. I also couldn’t find strong evidence of his dominant writing hand, at least not in a cursory google search. I did find what appears to be circumstantial evidence that he was a righty. So, my uneducated guess is that he was a “bats left, throws right” guy.

        • Brad Swanson

          That makes sense. Probably a first base profile then. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/BaseballPirate Paul Pleiss

    I have baseball fever, and the only sure is more cowbell… wait, no, that doesn’t work, I’ve tried that, don’t want the cure anyway.