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As everyone who knows former Ascension pastor Rev. Larry McNally knows, there is no greater fan of the Chicago White Sox. Win, lose or muddling through a season of mediocrity, Father Larry made Ernie Banks look like a skeptic.

And there are no greater fans of Larry McNally than his former parishioners, who gave him quite a sendoff as he moved to his new assignment at St. Matthias in Lincoln Square on the North Side of Chicago (where he no doubt preaches “Love your Cub fans, do good to those who hate the Sox”).

But one more gift from Ascension awaits him. Parishioner Art Pedraza and an Ascension alumna, Leslie Jordan, whose marriage Larry presided over (and who works for the White Sox), arranged for the erstwhile high school flamethrower to deliver the ceremonial first pitch on Friday, Sept. 11, before the Sox take on the Twins.

According to the Sox press release, the honor marks “his 12 years of service to Ascension Parish and his lifetime support of his beloved team.”

“What a great gift!” McNally emailed. “I am warming up with the help of our gym teacher as my catcher. We marked out the 60.6 feet for the warm-ups. I’m getting the ‘out pitch’ from my former career ready.”

The last thing he wants to do is “bounce the ball in. I would never hear the end of it as a bunch of friends are coming.”

Given the quality of White Sox pitching this year, the organization might want to consider adding him to their bullpen — or at least as the team chaplain. 

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