List of the Day: HR leaders sorted by ... popes

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Bless you, Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun!

Connolly, you see, has posted, courtesy of baseball historian Bill Arnold, a list of MLB home run leaders broken down by papal reign. Yea, verily: Home runs, Popes.

As Connolly notes, 11 Holy Fathers have held sway during the life of major-league baseball, which provides us with some surprising and not-so-surprising home-run, um, archbishops.

Recreated for your spiritual uplift is said list:

MLB home-run leaders, by Pope
Pope, years of reignPapal HR leader, no. of homers
Pius IX, 1846-76Charley Jones, 6
Leo XIII, 1878-1903Roger Connor, 138
Pius X, 1903-14Frank Schulte, 73
Benedict XV, 1914-22Babe Ruth, 162
Pius XI, 1922-39Babe Ruth, 552
Pius XII, 1939-58Ted Williams, 482
John XXIII, 1958-63Hank Aaron and Harmon Killebrew, 174
Paul VI, 1963-78Hank Aaron, 437
John Paul I, 1978Jim Rice, 13
John Paul II, 1978-2005Barry Bonds, 703
Benedict XVI, 2005-13Albert Pujols, 312

Jim Rice, taking the service entrance to greatness yet again.

Anyhow, bets on the HR leader during the reign of the freshly minted Pope Francis I? Giancarlo Stanton? Mike Trout? Ryan Braun or Miguel Cabrera if, God forbid, the actuarial estimates prove to be accurate? Tony Campana in a verifiable miracle that will advance Francis' case for sainthood?

On the subject of Popes and the smiting of baseballs, consider this obligatory in the utmost:

And also with you.

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