It was Marian Catholic Night at Guaranteed Rate Field last August, and Sister Mary Jo Sobieck took the field to throw the first pitch for the Chicago White Sox.
The teacher from Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights bounced the baseball off her bicep, threw a strike, and became a national sensation.
“It just kind of blew up,” said Sobieck.
In the latest stop on her journey to fame, Sobieck is appearing on a baseball card that will be sold in Topps trading card packs as a part of their Allen and Ginter series. The series features baseball players alongside celebrities and famous figures from other sports.
A marketing manager for Topps, Susan Lulgjuraj, said Sobieck seemed like a perfect fit for a card.
“We wanted to feature her on the set because she is a huge sports fan, a lifelong baseball fan,” said Lulgjuraj. “And when we saw her throw that first pitch last year, it kind of clicked. We said, ‘How cool would it be to feature Sister [Mary] Jo on a card?’ ”
Sobieck described her reaction when she saw an image of the card for the first time.
“I was like, that is … that is … that’s raw,” she said. “It was really cool.”
Sobieck is scheduled to sign some of her baseball cards on Monday. She said she plans to sign them how she signs passes for her students when they’re late to class.
“I just kind of beefed that up a little bit more,” said Sobieck. “So it’s something I’m pretty used to doing.”
Sobieck said Topps is paying her $1,000, which she plans to donate to a scholarship fund at Marian Catholic High School that’s named after her. Lulgjuraj said Topps plans to release Sobieck’s cards on July 17.
And some of the cards will even come with a “relic”: a piece of one of Sobieck’s veils.
Lauren Frost covers city news for WBEZ. Follow her @frostlaur.