Here Are Major League Baseball’s Home Run Leaders In Each Pope’s Term

Pius XI was good for power hitting.

The Baltimore Sun presents us with this list, compiled by baseball historian Bill Arnold, of the MLB’s home-run leaders by papal reign.

ID: 988435

Pius IX (1846-1876) reigned for 30 years. Charley Jones hit six home runs during that time. Baseball was different 150 years ago!

ID: 988085

Roger Connor hit 138 homers during the papacy of Leo XIII (1878-1903). He also grew at least one completely rad mustache, and appeared in a chewing tobacco advertisement. Bet the pope didn’t do that.

ID: 988097

Frank Schulte went yard 73 times under Pius X (1903-1914). Pius doesn’t look too impressed. Schulte doesn’t know how to smile.

ID: 988114

Benedict XV (1914-1922) presided over 162 Babe Ruth home runs, and he saw them all live. This is known as the Bleacher Era of the Roman papacy.

ID: 988158

The Babe hit another 552 while Pius XI was pope, despite Pius XI (1922-1939) being more of a soccer guy.

ID: 988175

Ted Williams homered 482 times for Pius XII (1939-1958), even though the pope questioned whether Williams’ son cryogenically freezing his body was, in fact, What Jesus Would Do.

ID: 988269

Hank Aaron and Harmon Killebrew both hit 174 home runs during the reign of John XXIII (1958-1963) — a stalemate being appropriate for the Pope who helped mediate the Cuban Missile Crisis.

ID: 988345

Aaron added 437 under Paul VI (1963-1978), who was said to have briefly considered taking Hammerin’ Hank I as his papal name.

ID: 988374

John Paul I (1978) was only pope for 33 days, during which time Jim Rice hit 13 homers. Good thing those 33 days were during baseball season.

ID: 988389

Barry Bonds notched 703 during John Paul II’s papacy (1978-2005). JPII’s thoughts on Bonds’ steroid use? “I didn’t like it, but, I mean, he was still a great hitter. It’s hard to say.”

ID: 988399

And our most recent pope, Benedict XVI (2005-2013), got to watch Albert Pujols reach the stands 312 times. Probably safe to say that Pujols will not be the home run king of Francis’ reign, though the Angels did sign him through, and I quote, “eternity

ID: 988412

Which slugger will dominate Francis’ papacy? Ryan Braun? Miguel Cabrera? Jose Bautista? ONLY GOD KNOWS.

(Braun image: Getty / Christian Petersen; Cabrera image: AP / Jeff Roberson; Bautista image: Reuters / Steve Nesius)

ID: 993399

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