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Mike Hayes Answers:
If you’ve seen the movie The Rookie, with Dennis Quaid you might know this answer.
St. Rita has recently been touted as an unofficial patron saint of the sport because of the references made to her in this movie where Quaid plays Jimmy Morris, an actual ballplayer, who makes an unbelievable comeback to become a major league ballplayer. While coaching St. Rita’s high school team, Morris is encouraged to go to a minor league tryout long after his playing days seemed over. Now well past his prime, Morris astounds scouts with a miracle 98 MPH fastball.
Religious medals have been printed with an image of St. Rita on one side and a batter on the other.
A second reference to St Rita is contained in the book Miracle Ball, where two Catholic nuns invested in an oil well (Santa Rita #1). The workers built a baseball field and one of them who had previously played in the majors also made a similar comeback run. The oil well also turned into a gusher.
A final reference: A Felician Sister, Sr. Helen reportedly caught the ball that Bobby Thomson hit in 1951 (the Famed Shot Heard Round the World…aka. “THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!” Home Run)
Later, Sr Helen would take the name Sister Helen Rita.