Papal blessing

March, 13, 2013
3/13/13
4:32
PM ET
TAMPA, Fla. -- For what it's worth, the Yankees' record is 3-1 on the day a new Pope is elected, going into tonight's game vs. the Phils (who used to have a GM who was known as the Pope, but that's another story).

On Sept. 3, 1914, the day Pope Benedict XV was elected, the Yankees -- who until 1913 were known as the Highlanders -- beat the Washington Senators, 10-4. Nearly a half-century later, on June 21, 1963, they lost, 7-4, to the Red Sox as Pope Paul VI ascended. On August 26, 1978, they beat Oakland, 5-4, the day John Paul I became Pope and on April 9, 2005, they beat Baltimore, 8-5, on the day of Benedict XVI's election.

October 16, 1978, the day John Paul II was elected, was an off-day in the 1978 World Series, and there is no record of the result of a pre-season game, if any, on March 2, 1939, when Pius XII became Pope.
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .275
HRM. Teixeira 20
RBIJ. Ellsbury 54
RB. Gardner 76
OPSB. Gardner .784
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135