Louisville fans surprise New Orleans priest


by WHAS11


Posted on January 17, 2013 at 7:10 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 17 at 7:21 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- University of Louisville fans in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl not only cheered on the Cards, but, now we are learning how they helped a New Orleans priest regain a his most treasured items,  his Louisville Slugger bat.

In between cheering on the Cards, some UofL fans took some time to watch local New Orleans news, believe it or not, there just happened to be a story on television about a New Orleans priest that had his Louisville Slugger bat stolen. It is no ordinary bat, so Hillerich and Bradsby found out and surprised him with a new one.

When Hurricane Katrina destroyed parts of New Orleans in 2005 so many lost everything. New Orleans Priest, Father Michael Nguyen was one of them. All he could salvage from his home was his Louisville Slugger Bat.

"It was a good reminder of what we went through and it helped me and once in a while. I hold it and say look you can go on," Father Nguyen said.

He kept it in his church office for seven years. Then on Christmas Eve,  he moved it to his golf cart near the back of church where someone stole it during mass.

"I have a Louisville Kentucky Slugger. I kept that in my office for seven years, I say that was my souvenir from Katrina. Then for some reason that day I put it on the back of my golf and its gone," Father Nguyen said. 

UofL fans in town for Sugar Bowl went back to Louisville and told the company about it.

"That's one of the things that we love about the story. A Louisville person who doesn't even work here but takes such pride and ownership in Louisville Slugger too they're like I'm just gonna call Louisville Slugger cause that's my hometown and I'm sure they'll do something about it," Anne Jewell, Museum Director said.

And they did! The VP of Hillerich and Bradsby watched it on the internet  and sent Father Nguyen a new bat.

So this story of sinners brought out some saints. 

Father Nguyen was excited about showing it at mass and sharing the story with his congregation.