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Sister Mary Jo Sobieck adds to baseball legend with her own Topps trading cards

Sister Mary Jo Sobieck of Marian Catholic High in Chicago Heights is applauded by her theology students at the school Monday to celebrate her being featured on a Topps baseball card. | John Booz/For the Sun-Times

Sister Mary Jo Sobieck, already a viral sensation for her dazzling ceremonial first pitch prior to a White Sox game last year, could be showing up in your next pack of baseball cards.

Topps, the trading card company, made special cards for the famous Catholic nun that will be inserted randomly into packs from its Allen and Ginter set this year.

Sobieck, a lifelong baseball fan and teacher at Marian Catholic High School, signed more than 200 of the cards Monday during a special event at Marian’s West Gym in Chicago Heights.

Sister Mary Jo Sobieck of Marian Catholic High in Chicago Heights holds one of the Topps baseball cards that feature her. | John Booz/For the Sun-Times
Sister Mary Jo Sobieck of Marian Catholic High in Chicago Heights holds one of the Topps baseball cards that feature her. | John Booz/For the Sun-Times

Topps’ Allen and Ginter cards take their cues from the branding of the now-defunct Allen and Ginter tobacco company, which often included collectible cards in its products before shutting down in 1890. Topps revived the brand in 2006, and each year, the company includes a series of surprising and interesting cards in its packs.

This time around, Sobieck will be one of the special prizes collectors can pull alongside the usual array of cards featuring big league stars.

Sobieck first caught the attention of the baseball world last August when she spun a curveball for the first pitch before a game at Guaranteed Rate Field. Rocking her Marian Catholic jersey, she showed off her ball skills in front of the crowd with a nifty trick before firing a strike.

Out of that moment came an appearance on “Good Morning America,” many more on local television and even a series of bobbleheads. Now, Sobieck can add trading cards to the list.