by Ellie Melero
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — There are few things more satisfying than the crack of a bat making contact with a well- thrown pitch, but a priest swinging that bat might make it a little better.
That’s exactly what’s going to happen at the sixth annual Pitching for Priests softball game on July 5.
Pitching for Priests is a contest between the priests of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the priests of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. The Catholic Radio Network hosts the event, and all proceeds go toward seminarian education in both dioceses.
“Pitching for Priests is one of those vocation events that really just tries to celebrate priesthood by inviting the faithful out for an evening of fun,” said Father Dan Morris, the director of the archdiocesan vocations office. “It’s just a fun, family event that celebrates and supports priesthood.”
The softball game might be a fun event that supports a good cause, but it’s also a serious competition between two teams trying to bring home a trophy.
The priests from Missouri are 3-2 for the series and, after their win last year, the trophy resides with them. But Father Morris and his team of clergymen are determined to take it back.
“I do believe that there’s a new sheriff in town and that’s me as the coach,” said Father Morris. “I feel like our chances are as good as ever that we’ll bring the trophy back to this side of the state line.”
Last year about 3,500 people came to the game and raised $8,700 for the seminarians. Father Morris would like even more people to come this year.
Melanie Savner, who assists in the vocations office, said the game is fun to watch and gives people a chance to see priests in a different setting than they normally would.
“Sometimes it’s funny and kind of humorous what goes on, but then it’s just plain exciting, too,” Savner said. “I think any age person would have a really good time and might enjoy the game more because it’s priests and people they know.”
The game will take place at T-Bones Stadium (formerly CommunityAmerica Ballpark) in Kansas City, Kansas, at 7 p.m. on July 5. Tailgating will begin at 4 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. Baseball cards will be available for free for children.