Friday, February 26, 2021

1986 Sportflics Decade Greats: Pie Traynor


On-the-field: For most of baseball history, there were far fewer superstars at third base than at any other position. Although the first Hall-of-Famers were elected in 1936, it took twelve years for a third baseman to make the Hall. That man was Pie Traynor, the best third baseman of the first half of the twentieth century. In 1,941 games for the Pirates from 1920 to 1937, he hit .320 with 371 doubles, 164 triples, 58 HR and 1,273 RBI. He had great range at third base, though a shaky arm. In the 1925 World Series he hit .346 and homered off of Walter Johnson as the Pirates edged the Senators in seven games. In the 1934 All Star Game he stole home; the only such steal in All Star history.

Off-the-field: Harold Traynor was called Pie Face as a boy, because he liked pie. Traynor never learned to drive, instead walking for miles every day. In his career as a radio announcer in Pittsburgh after his playing career, it was common to see him walking the streets of the city, being greeted by numerous people throughout his walk. Even during his playing career he would walk from the hotel to the stadium, even when the Pirates were playing in Brooklyn and staying at a hotel in uptown Manhattan, a 3.5 hour walk.

My collection: I do not have any playing-days cards of Traynor. His last solo card as an active player was 1936 National Chicle Fine Pen Premiums R313 #100.


  1. Interesting fact about his not driving. My younger brother has a fear of driving, and as such lives near a city where he can get to everywhere he needs to go by public transportation/walking/skateboarding.

  2. Neat card and a neat story. I technically learned how to drive but I've never felt comfortable behind the wheel. The driving school I went to just wanted to hand out licenses to anyone who didnt crash lol.