Priests from the Omaha archdiocese (wearing blue) and from the Lincoln diocese (in red) came together June 12 in Omaha for the annual I-80 Collar Series softball game. PHOTOS BY MIKE MAY/STAFF

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Omaha and Lincoln priests meet for annual softball game

The Lincoln bats were hot and so was the weather as priests from the Lincoln diocese defeated the Omaha priests in the annual I-80 Collar Series softball game June 12 in Omaha.

The game, at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Tal Anderson Field, drew about 1,200 spectators watching in the 95-degree heat as the Lincoln clerics ran up a 17-9 final score.

But the competition took second place to the camaraderie as the two dioceses came together for the sixth game in the annual series following a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic.

The series is designed for priests and the public to have a good time and raise money for the vocations offices in the two dioceses. 

“It gives the priests a chance to get together in a relaxing atmosphere where they can enjoy themselves … and get to know priests from the other diocese,” said Joe Bober, Knights of Columbus state athletic chairman and main organizer of the event.

“Second, it shows the young people the fun side of the priests … enjoying a nice Sunday afternoon,” he said.

Bober said the new venue (Tal Anderson Field) worked out well, and he thanked UNO’s Baxter Arena staff for their services. “They were just great,” he said.

The event was organized by the Knights of Columbus State Council with the support of sponsors Catholic Mutual Group, Spirit Catholic Radio, the Cosgrave Company, the Catholic Foundation of Southern Nebraska, the Jesuit community at Omaha’s Creighton University and several Knights councils and their chaplains.

After the game, the traveling trophy was awarded to the Lincoln diocese, which now holds a 5-1 record in the series. The Most Valuable Player award went to Father Mike Zimmer of St. Mary Parish in Sutton, Nebraska.

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