There’s “nun better” in the eyes of the Baseball Reliquary than Holy Spirit Sister Mary Assumpta Zabas of Cleveland.
Sister Mary Assumpta, 64, a longtime fan of the Cleveland Indians, was named the winner of the organization’s Hilda Award for her devotion to the baseball team. The award is given annually for distinguished service as a baseball fan.
Sister Mary Assumpta’s passion for the Cleveland team is well-known throughout northeast Ohio. In the 1970s and 1980s, she became a regular at Indians games, wildly cheering on the team during some of its darkest days. She’s still a regular at games.
In 1982 a local television station gave her a segment –- Tribe Habit — in its newscast. In 1989 she had two cameo appearances in the film “Major League.” Baseball card producer Upper Deck even made a card for her in 1997.
Perhaps the highlight of her career as an Indian fan came in 2005 when she threw out the first pitch at a home game.
Since 1984 she has baked cookies for players, regularly delivering them to the team. The effort evolved into a small business, which she calls Nun Better, in which members of her community and faithful volunteers bake cookies with natural ingredients. Profits benefit the Jennings Center for Older Adults in suburban Garfield Heights, where Sister Mary Assumpta is director of mission development.
She plans to travel to Pasadena, Calif., July 18 to accept the award.
The Baseball Reliquary was established in 2002 in Pasadena, Calif., to recognize individuals for their commitment to the preservation of baseball history.