Cubs manager Joe Maddon has named Pope Francis the team’s starting pitcher for the NL Wild Card game on October 7.
With the Pirates the likely opponent, Maddon side-stepped aces Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta in anointing the Pontiff to start in the one-game playoff.
Francis will be the first Pope to pitch in a playoff game since 1984 when reliever John XXIII of the Padres saved Game 3 of the NLCS, ironically, against the Cubs.
“Deity is nothing new to baseball,” Maddon told reporters. “The Reverend Billy Graham hit 24 homers with the Washington Senators in 1957 and Bishop Desmond Tutu led the National League in steals in ’78 when he was with the Cardinals.”