Past Newsworthy Dads

Greatest Christian Players

Rabid sports fans sometimes argue about the greatest centerfielder or quarterback or point guard of all time. For amusement, they will also create “all-left-handed teams” or “all-guys-named-Joe teams,” exercises in coming up with lists of the best players who meet certain criteria.

So who would make the “all-religion team,” that is, athletes who live their faith and make good role models?

Archbishop O’Brien, who said he has been “a fan of baseball all my life,” nominated Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto, both Catholics, for the team. The two classic players for the New York Yankees “continue to impress me,” he said.

Olympic skier Rebecca Dussault turned to a saint for her team. “I would have to point to my late hero, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who was a cross-country skier and mountain climber,” she said.

Mike Sweeney came up with a complete baseball team. “My all-spiritual team would be as follows,” he said, naming: “Manager Joe Torre, bench coach Buddy Bell, catcher Mike Piazza, first baseman Mark Tiexiera, second baseman Mark Loretta, shortstop David Eckstein, third baseman Mike Lowell, left fielder Juan Pierre, center fielder Mark Kotsay, right fielder Mark Teahan, starting pitcher Jeff Suppan, right-handed relief pitcher Bobby Keppel, lefthanded reliever Jeremy Affeldt, closer Trevor Hoffman and utility player Jack Hannahan.”

Reported by James Breig