[caption id="attachment_80030" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Shaun Clancy[/caption]
By Irish Echo Staff
Pope Francis may want to add another short stop on his New York City itinerary when he arrives on Friday, September 25th.
Shaun Clancy, the owner of Foley’s New York Pub & Restaurant, a popular baseball bar in Midtown Manhattan that features 3,000 autographed baseballs on its walls, is willing to trade 1,000 meals for the hungry in return for a signed ball from the pontiff.
Clancy, a native of County Cavan, is inviting the pope to sign the ball at Foley’s.
As an alternative, given that the papal itinerary is already looking like loaded bases, Clancy would deliver a ball to Francis at another location or accept a signed ball from anyone who manages to secure the papal moniker.
If the miracle signing actually occurs, the papal ball (as opposed to bull) would join over 3,000 autographed baseballs housed at Foley’s.
As it happens, the papal itinerary on the 25th is confined to Manhattan.
Pope Francis will spend the day visiting the United Nations, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem, and Madison Square Garden, where he will celebrate Mass.
That last stop will see the pontiff at his closet point to Foley’s, and vice versa.
Clancy’s donated meals would go Saint Francis of Assisi Church in Midtown.
Shaun Clancy said he would also donate the meals if someone asks the pontiff to sign a ball during the day and then brings it to Clancy’s.
"It would be an honor for me to have a ball signed by Pope Francis on our wall. We have a longstanding relationship with St. Francis of Assisi Church on 31st Street, so we hope the trade of a signature for 1,000 meals is a good trade," said Clancy.
If it all works out, a Francis-signed ball would be displayed on the walls of Foley's along with the 3,000 others signed by athletes and celebrities, including Bono, Pelé, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Donald Trump, and Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York.
Since becoming pope in 2013, Francis has continuously advocated feeding the hungry, saying during a recent homily: "The planet has enough food for all, but it seems that there is a lack of willingness to share it with everyone.”
Foley’s is located at 18 W. 33rd St., across from the Empire State Building.
Billing itself as the "Irish bar with a baseball attitude," it features walls adorned with the autographed balls, hundreds of bobbleheads, game-worn jerseys, stadium seats and other artifacts.
Foley’s is also home to the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame and boasts one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia outside of Cooperstown.