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 reign||Papal HR leader, no. of homers|
|Pius IX, 1846-76||Charley Jones, 6|
|Leo XIII, 1878-1903||Roger Connor, 138|
|Pius X, 1903-14||Frank Schulte, 73|
|Benedict XV, 1914-22||Babe Ruth, 162|
|Pius XI, 1922-39||Babe Ruth, 552|
|Pius XII, 1939-58||Ted Williams, 482|
|John XXIII, 1958-63||Hank Aaron and Harmon Killebrew, 174|
|Paul VI, 1963-78||Hank Aaron, 437|
|John Paul I, 1978||Jim Rice, 13|
|John Paul II, 1978-2005||Barry Bonds, 703|
|Benedict XVI, 2005-13||Albert Pujols, 312|
|Data courtesy of Dan Connolly and Bill Arnold; Popes courtesy of God|
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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