Sister Frances Evans and her close friend, Sister Maggie Hession, were such great fans of baseball (especially the Texas Rangers), that they were called the “Ranger nuns.” Actually members of the Sisters of Charity of Incarnate Word, Sister Frances and Sister Maggie met in 1954. Sister Frances had grown up loving baseball, and taught the game to Sister Maggie, who was from Ireland.
On Friday, Sister Francis died at age 90. She would have been 91 on July 31. Sister Maggie died at age 85 in 2013. The Sisters had almost never missed a Rangers game, and often came to practices. They were well known to the team, the ushers, and many other fans. Nolan Ryan, former president and pitcher for the Rangers, remembers when the nuns attended a fantasy camp in the 1990s, and he had to pitch for them. “I didn’t want to hit them, “ he said. “It was quite a challenge. But they each hit a ball, and they ran to first base, and they were extremely happy about that.” When he developed tendonitis in his pitching hand, the Sisters were waiting for him at the doctor’s office, very concerned, and they prayed together.
The Rangers released a statement after Sister Frances’ death, saying, “It has been the great honor and privilege of the Texas Rangers organization to have a 47-year association with Sister Frances. We extend our deepest sympathies to all of her family and friends. She will be missed at Globe Life Park in Arlington.”