Ecce homo
January 22, 2013 10:29 PM   Subscribe

"Footage of Pope John Paul at an indoor batting cage during his 1987 visit to California"
posted by growabrain (36 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Too good to be true?
posted by growabrain at 10:29 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Pontif had a pretty mean swing.
posted by GuyZero at 10:31 PM on January 22, 2013


Lefty!
posted by cman at 10:33 PM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


He hit a triple!

Well, he plays on a softball league at the Vatican... so he's got a good swing.

posted by cosmologinaut at 10:35 PM on January 22, 2013


South paw pontif pounding pitches proficiently
posted by benk at 10:36 PM on January 22, 2013


I call bullshit. Here's a picture of him signing something with his right hand:
posted by cman at 10:42 PM on January 22, 2013


Speaking of softballs, 4:00.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:45 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Isn't eye dominance more important than handedness when choosing which way to bat? I'm Googling and coming up with conflicting opinions, so I really don't know for sure.
posted by maudlin at 10:56 PM on January 22, 2013


I call bullshit. Here's a picture of him signing something with his right hand:
Whether this is fake or not I have no idea, but I am right-handed in everything except swinging a bat (or golf club or whatever). No one taught me to do it that way, it's just the way that felt "normal" the first time I picked up a cricket bat.
posted by bunglin jones at 10:58 PM on January 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


[Comment deleted. Let's not pull in YouTube comments, and maybe try to avoid the same level here?]
posted by taz at 11:05 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


but I am right-handed in everything except swinging a bat

Hmm, he did take the cup of water with his right hand at the end of the video.
posted by cman at 11:09 PM on January 22, 2013


Named Most Valuable Pontiff after leading the Cardinals to the World Series, a miracle.
posted by chavenet at 11:13 PM on January 22, 2013 [17 favorites]


One of the people in the video did say he was a switch hitter, so there's that. But the energy drink thing at the end along with his voice felt slightly incredulous. (of course, I never hung out with JP in a batting cage either)
posted by michswiss at 11:14 PM on January 22, 2013


They described him as a switch-hitter. So if it's a fake, that's one detail they thought of.
posted by facetious at 11:15 PM on January 22, 2013


Doesn't surprise me one bit he likes to hit foul balls.
posted by phaedon at 11:20 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


He does not take a swig of water at the end. He takes a swig of the "official energy drink." It's the relentless, shameless commercialism of the batting cage owner that really sells this video for me.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:29 PM on January 22, 2013


While the baseball part of me wants this to be true, the internal sceptic part of me maintains that it can't possibly be so.

Come on, Pope JP2 hitting weak liners? I'd like to think that the only longer serving Pope would crush mad dingers out of the stadium.

Maybe God doesn't like aluminum bats, I sure don't.
posted by Sphinx at 11:37 PM on January 22, 2013


Gene Greytak strikes again? (Greytak's IMDB page)
posted by Ranucci at 11:42 PM on January 22, 2013


Misread this as indoor battling cage #fightingpapals
posted by fallingbadgers at 11:44 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


He did like to ski:
It’s now fairly well known that John Paul II would regularly escape the apostolic palace unannounced, making an estimated 100 clandestine trips to ski or hike in the Italian mountains. According to his long-serving personal secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the Pope, Dziwisz and two of his Polish aides would pack up the trunk of a car owned by one of the priests, and smuggle themselves out of the Vatican to the nearby towns in the mountains, a couple of hours drive from Rome.

Cardinal Dziwisz, writing in his 2007 book, “A Life with Karol,” recalled that no one would recognize the Pope on the slopes, who would often be wearing sunglasses and be dressed as other skiers, and take his place in the ski lift queues like everyone else.
Pictures. He also liked swimming, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and mountain climbing.

But those are all things he learned as a youth and young man. To believe that that baseball video is real, you'd have to believe that an old guy who had never played baseball or anything similar in his youth or even watched games on television (in communist Poland?) could just step into a batting cage and start swinging so confidently and successfully. Of course, the guys playing the pope's handlers in the video claim that there is a Vatican softball league in which they (including the pope) play, though "he [the pope] doesn't have a lot of time to participate," but that's just a joke. If there was a real Vatican softball league with the pope (and cardinals and so on?) playing on the teams, you'd have heard about it.

And to believe this video, you'd also have to believe that the pope would do it in his Sunday best. This is a guy who skied in good skiing clothes, not in a tall pointy hat and funny shoes.

And I'm not even going to start on the energy drink, etc.

Nope. Not real. Just a video from some old comedy show. If there's any real film anywhere of that pope swinging a baseball bat at real baseballs, it shows a guy wearing appropriate athletic clothing but ineptly swinging at and missing the ball.
posted by pracowity at 11:44 PM on January 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


First MeFi gives me Bertrand Russell in Bollywood, now the Pope in a batting cage. What the hell kind of a week is this? It feels like looking at an upside down map of the world. Vaguely familiar, but mindblowing at the same time.

On the topic of being a left/righthanded batting. I've been playing and coaching baseball for some time and I've seen plenty examples of southpaws hitting right and vice versa. And while this whole thing probably is fake, I want to believe.
posted by ouke at 12:42 AM on January 23, 2013


C S Lewis noted that Pope John Paul II either deceived mankind by conscious fraud, or he was himself deluded and self-deceived, or he was present in that batting cage during his 1987 visit to California. "There is no getting out of this trilemma. It is inexorable," argued the great author of wardrobe-based make-believe involving talking lions.

However, Bart Ehrman (the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) countered that "there could be a fourth option – internet hoax".

This debate has radically changed our views of Pope John Paul II's life and teachings, with some even going so far as to deny that Pope John Paul II was a fifteen-year old schoolgirl living with leukemia, and others doubting that he was (as claimed in his many Apostolic Letters and Exhortations) a Nigerian prince who "needed to move $120 million out of Lagos quickly, with your help".

Others say that the belief in His Holiness' baseball skills is simply a matter of "pure faith", and those who believe will be rewarded in the second innings, in which he will return to judge the statistics of the living and the dead. Then again I play cricket, so the whole "baseball" thing is just superstitious mumbo-jumbo to me.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 2:29 AM on January 23, 2013 [11 favorites]


"And the Romans mocked Peter, crying, 'Heyyy pontiff pontiff pontiff, heyyy pontiff pontiff pontiff suh-WING pontiff!'"
posted by PlusDistance at 3:46 AM on January 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


I call bullshit. Here's a picture of him signing something with his right hand

I pitch and draw right, but at-bat, I'm a southpaw. I bowl lefty, too. In kickball, I'm left-footed.

All the best Popes were southpaws.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:57 AM on January 23, 2013


I call bullshit. Here's a picture of him signing something with his right hand

Just wanted to chime in on this....I write with my right hand, and am dominant with my right for a lot of things. But in anything requiring coordination or sports-related, I am a solid lefty and my right hand is basically useless...so much so that when I was 5 or 6 I had to go through a battery of tests to figure out which hand for which to get a baseball glove because I was throwing AND catching with my left.
posted by nevercalm at 5:16 AM on January 23, 2013


I also throw right and bat left. In sports with a stance, surfing, skateboarding, baseball (batting), my right foot is always the lead foot.
posted by otto42 at 5:27 AM on January 23, 2013


FWIW it is John Paul II, John Paul (17 October 1912 – 28 September 1978) having been dead for quite some time could not hit the outside curve.
posted by Gungho at 5:41 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm no big fan of organized religion, but damn, I miss that crazy bastard.
posted by SPUTNIK at 5:52 AM on January 23, 2013


I WANT TO BELIEVE!
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 7:03 AM on January 23, 2013


In sports with a stance, surfing, skateboarding, baseball (batting), my right foot is always the lead foot.

I believe the term is known as "goofy." I use it too, for skateboarding, but not baseball ... true story!

I can certainly swing a bat or golf club left handed with some success. It's not like writing.

It's a good hoax, but I don't think it's the Pope either, fwiw. More than the handedness, he looks too small.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:23 AM on January 23, 2013


Looks like the pope lookalike who showed up a lot on TV at the time doing gags like this. (I can tell by the pixels etc.)
posted by gubo at 7:23 AM on January 23, 2013


Well, His Holiness did celebrate mass at Dodger Stadium in September 1987. That might explain how they won the World Series in 1988. ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:55 AM on January 23, 2013


Here is why I think it isn't fake:

1- JPII was a bad-ass in his youth. Skiing, hiking, sports in general. Most of us only remember him as a feeble, shaky old guy, because his health failed him so spectacularly his later years.

2- If it was faked, they managed to get a guy who looked just like him, even down to the curvature of his spine.

3- The white cassock isn't his Sunday best, I think that's just his normal everyday garb. They aren't going to put him in pinstripes for a 5 minute batting practice session.

4- He was only 5'10".

The only thing that seems inconsistent is the dress of his helpers. They look Anglican instead of Catholic. And yes, the switch-hitting seems like it might be a bit much.
posted by gjc at 8:05 AM on January 23, 2013


Aluminum bat?!? I am disappointed.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:07 AM on January 23, 2013


Kind of surprised they let him in there without a helmet, honestly.

they missed a real golden opportunity to strap the zuchetto over it
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 2:44 PM on January 23, 2013


Ecce homer.
posted by anothermug at 4:19 PM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older The legendarily shitty webcomic Sweet Bro and Help...  |  In Golden Waters, Fatlantis an... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments