Heavy hitters: Priests and Catholic school teachers face off in annual baseball game at MCU Park

Heavy hitters: Priests and Catholic school teachers face off in annual baseball game at MCU Park
Trey Pentecost

Talk about angels in the outfield!

Priests and educators faced off in a nail-biting baseball match during the Cyclones’ Catholic School Night on June 17, before the professionals took to the field at Coney Island’s MCU Park.

“The whole event is just a lot of fun,” said Sister Shirlee Tremont, a Catholic school teacher at St. Bernadette School in Bensonhurst. “There was a wonderful family atmosphere.”

Sister Shirlee’s impressive defensive plays in last year’s match earned her the MVP title.

The second annual “Collars versus Scholars” event, hosted by the Diocese of Brooklyn, kicked off with an awards ceremony for Catholic school eighth-graders. Salutatorians and valedictorians from half of the Diocese’s 86 primary schools stepped up to receive medals before their last day of class on June 18.

After the ceremony, students settled in their seats to watch their teachers play ball against priests in the half-hour match. The parochial players went head-to-head for three and a half innings, with the Collars racking up two runs and the Scholars scoring one. But the game’s ending wasn’t exactly fair, according to Sister Shirlee.

“They cut it off while we were batting, with two runners on first and third and no outs,” she said.

The Collars, a group of priests in Brooklyn, beat the Scholars for the second year in a row in the annual Brooklyn Diocese baseball game.
Trey Pentecost

At around 6:30 p.m., the players had to clear the field in preparation for the Cyclones, who were set to face off against the Aberdeen IronBirds.

But despite the game’s abrupt end, the event was a home run for players and attendees alike. About 700 Catholic school students cheered from the side lines, according to John Quaglione, the Deputy Press Secretary for the Diocese of Brooklyn.

“There was something very special about it,” Quaglione said. “[It was] celebrating that Catholic education is still very strong and vibrant in Brooklyn.”

After the game, members of the Diocese distributed a bobble-head in Sister Shirlee’s likeness to celebrate her performance in last year’s match.

“That was so very cool,” said Sister Shirlee, who was recruited to Temple University to play softball. “I can check that off my baseball bucket list.”

Another item on Sister Shirlee’s baseball bucket list? Throwing the first pitch for the Brooklyn Cyclones, which she hopes to do in the future.

Reach reporter Rose Adams at radams@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–8306.
Before Monday’s Cyclones game, the Diocese of Brooklyn honored the salutatorians and valedictorians of many Brooklyn Catholic schools.
Trey Pentecost