Papa Francesco may not be Big Papi, but he showed a bit of athletic prowess at the end of his weekly general audience as he strolled through St. Peter’s Square Wednesday.

Someone from the crowd tossed him a baseball to sign, but sailed it high above the pope’s head. His instincts kicked in as he jumped slightly — losing his zucchetto (his small white skullcap) in the process — and knocked it down with his right hand. He almost snagged it on the way down, but the ball bounced off his outstretched fingers.

Hmmm. He’s scheduled to visit the US next year, and New Yorkers are hoping he’ll hold a Mass in Yankee Stadium. Maybe he could long-toss in the outfield with Ichiro Suzuki. If so, he should start breaking in his Rawlings mitt now by sleeping with it under the papal pillow.

– Christina Reinwald

(H/T to Luke Coppen)