Prebynski watches Pope address Congress

Prebynski watches Pope address Congress

HOUSTON -- The Rangers were without their review specialist on Thursday in Oakland. Joe Prebynski left the team for one day for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

He was in Washington D.C. with a front-row seat in the gallery as Pope Francis addressed Congress.

"It was just an amazing experience," said Prebynski, who is the Rangers' assistant for Major League operations and player development.

He also sits in the Rangers' clubhouse during games watching on television and determines for manager Jeff Banister if a play needs to be challenged. But somebody else handled those duties on Thursday as a friend arranged for Prebynski to be among those who were in attendance for the Pope's historic speech.

Prebynski left Oakland on Wednesday night on a red-eye flight and arrived in Washington on Thursday morning. He went straight to the Capitol, where he got to see the Pope arrive through the rotunda.

"I was about 10 to 15 feet away," Prebynski said. "That was pretty special to see."

Prebynski then went upstairs to listen to the speech.

"The biggest takeaway was his compassion and basic values, working together, treating others like you want to be treated, especially those less fortunate," Prebynski said. "When you see the Pope, it is amazing, his grace and humility and genuine love for all people."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.