Saturday, April 02, 2005

For "Charlie Joe"

Charlie Joe never quite made it to 500 home runs. I doubt if he even ever hit one. He thought it was wrong to steal bases, considering stealing is a sin. I heard he had a great arm, though, and people often forget how incredibly athletic he was. No, though, "Uncle Charlie" was not named after him. He would've argued masterfully with umpires, and if there were ever a manager who would've gotten them to change their mind, it would've been Charlie Joe.

I never got the chance to meet Charlie Joe, but I did meet someone who knew him very well. He taught Charlie Joe English. In return, Charlie Joe ordained him, reluctantly at first, as a priest. The stories that Father Patrick would tell, in the two brief encounters I had with him, made me really love the man that was Charlie Joe, better known as Karol Josef Wotyla. Of course, about 26 years ago, Charlie Joe took the reins of a job bigger than life itself. Over those 26+ years, he showed us the REAL value of VORP.

If there's ever anyone who's stats produce an infinite VORP, it's Charlie Joe - even though he never swung a bat in a major league game. Today, at 9:37 PM Vatican time, Charlie Joe moved on to his field of dreams.

Pope John Paul II, pray for us!


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