First Pope Francis got his own baseball card; now he has a retro soccer card too

First Pope Francis got his own baseball card; now he has a retro soccer card too

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Even divine intervention couldn’t rescue the 2015 Philadelphia Phillies — they were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in mid-September of that year when they lost 5-4 to the San Diego Padres. Still, that didn’t prevent the team from issuing a rookie baseball card for Pope Francis ahead of his visit to the city.

While it couldn’t have hurt to curry the pope’s good graces, it’s doubtful the then 78-year-old could have provided much value as a fielder. His baseball experience is limited to a botched bare-handed catch attempt in 2014 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

POPE FRANCIS SOCCER CARD

Pope Francis rookie soccer card

Tim Sullivan, an enterprising Pope Francis fan from Maryland, produced a trading card in anticipation of His Holiness’ visit to the United States. Unlike the Phillies, he honored the pope’s stated sporting preference in making a retro soccer card complete with a cartoon and bio data on the backside.

Francis has met personally with a who’s who of the soccer world since being named Pope Benedict XVI’s successor in 2013. Naturally, the Buenos Aires-born pope has made time for Argentine stars Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona, but he’s also met with Italian greats Gianluigi Buffon and Mario Balotelli.

2019-01-25T09:25:29+00:00January 25th, 2019|

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