Karol Wojtyla Now Among the Famous Cardinals on Famed Sports Bar’s
New York, NY, June 6, 2019 – For many children growing up in rural Ireland in the late 70s, the visit by Karol Józef Wojtyła (Pope John Paul II) was a transformative event. Shortly after Cardinal Wojtyla became Pope, he announced that he would visit Ireland and the papal frenzy began.
“My Uncle Patsy and Aunt Patricia convinced my mom to let me go see him in Dublin,” said Shaun Clancy, owner of Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.), New York’s premier baseball bar, which boasts a collection of over 3,500 autographed baseballs by players, celebrities, religious leaders, and others. “Going to stay with my aunt and uncle in Dublin was a big deal at any time. I remember watching on TV as he descended from the plane, got on his hands and knees, and kissed the ground. The next day we traveled to Phoenix Park, where we were among the crowd of one million people.”
Fast forward to the early 2000s and Clancy was introduced to a baseball scout, Tom “T-Bone,” Giordano. They became fast friends and over one of our many conversations, T-Bone told Clancy about meeting John Paul II and getting a baseball signed by him.
“Knowing my affinity for John Paul II -- and how much I would obviously love to add him to my collection – T-Bone would bust my chops about it. He even sent me a picture of balls signed by John Paul II and Pope Benedict just to tease me,” Clancy explained.
The Pope John Paul II ball now takes its rightful place among baseballs signed by two Cardinals from New York (Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Cardinal Edward Egan) and numerous Cardinals from St. Louis (Stan Musial, Albert Pujols, and Lou Brock, among others) on the walls of Foley’s. (The bar also has baseballs signed by St. Paul Saints Executive VP Tom Whaley, and former players Darryl Strawberry and Kevin Millar.)
After Foley’s hosted a memorial for T-Bone, who died on Valentine’s Day, the bar owner was surprised when T-Bone’s daughter, Gail, presented him with a ball signed by now Saint John Paul, along with a papal coin and a plaque presented to T-Bone by the Italian Baseball Federation. All of these items are now proudly displayed at Foleys.
“Now I can now say I have a ball signed by an actual saint and close to 4,000 signed by sinners,” Clancy says.
About Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant
Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.) is across from the Empire State Building. It is a popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires, media, and fans. The "Irish Bar with a Baseball Attitude" features 3,500 autographed balls, bobbleheads, game-worn jerseys, stadium seats, and other artifacts that make it the premier baseball bar in New York and one of the best sports bars in America. For more information, call (212) 290-0080 or visit, Facebook