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March 14, 2011

Wezen-Ball

Happy Pi (π) Day!

by Larry Granillo

 It's Pi Day, the geekiest holiday of the year (that's 'pi' as in π = 3.14 = March 14 = 3/14)! As such, I thought I'd continue the Wezen-Ball tradition of honoring any ballplayers who had a 'Pi (π) Career' - that is, they ended their careers with "314 career _____".

As I have in the past, I've included any pitchers who ended their career with a 3.14 ERA (minimum of 1,000 IP), or with 314 career wins, saves, quality starts, or complete games. I've also included any position players who ended their career with a .314 batting average, on-base percentage, or slugging percentage (minimum of 1,000 games played) or with 314 career home runs, doubles, or stolen bases. I chose these stats because they were all positive stats that a long-time player could all realistically achieve (though a .314 OBP or SLG isn't very great). There are actually only a very few players who meet any of these criteria, so it works out well for us here.

I'm also including players who managed a .314 OBP or SLG (or 3.14 ERA) in the 2010 season, as well as a few players with Pi BPro stats (like True Average and SIERA). I'm still new to all the stats here, so if anyone has any other suggestions for stats to include, I'd be happy to hear them.

Without further ado, here are this year's 'Pi (π) Players':

2010 Season
.314 On-Base Percentage
: Jose Guillen, Seth Smith, John Buck
.314 Slugging Percentage
: Nyjer Morgan
3.14 ERA: Matt Cain, Brett Myers
.314 True Average
: Evan Longoria
3.14 SIERA: (none)

Career Pitching
3.14 ERA (min. 1,000 IP): Bert Gallia, Leon Cadore, Tug McGraw, Mike Marshall, Mike Cuellar, Al Orth
314 Wins: Gaylord Perry
314 Complete Games: Joe McGinnity, Burleigh Grimes
314 Quality Starts: Kevin Brown
314 Saves
: Robb Nen

Career Batting
.314 Average (min. 1,000 Games): Bibb Falk, Cecil Travis, Derek Jeter*
.314 On-Base Percentage: Mookie Wilson, Marlon Anderson, Bobby Tolan, Terry Kennedy, Don Kessinger and 8 others
.314 Slugging Percentage: Otis Nixon, Abraham Nunez, Jose Uribe, Jimmy Austin, Miller Huggins
314 HR: Reggie Smith, Alfonso Soriano*
314 Doubles
: Pete Fox
314 Stolen Bases
: Andre Dawson

Personally, I think that these players should be remembered every Pi Day (especially the less familiar names, like Bibb Falk or Bert Gallia). I'd love to hear any other 'Pi (π) Career' values that others might be able to come up with.

22 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Rusty Pecker

I believe there is also a "mol day". Not sure which is geekier though.

Mar 14, 2011 06:40 AM
rating: 0
 
dianagram

I've got your Avogadro number right here, fella. :-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mole_Day

Mar 14, 2011 07:13 AM
rating: 1
 
Michael
(736)

Accurate data reporting prevents us from honoring those who ended their careers weighing 314 pounds.

Mar 14, 2011 06:45 AM
rating: 1
 
dianagram

Walter Young promises to lose 6 pounds and make a baseball comeback
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/y/youngwa01.shtml

Mar 14, 2011 07:12 AM
rating: 2
 
Patrick M

As long as we're approximating pi to 3.14, how about some pitchers with records of 22-7?

Mar 14, 2011 06:54 AM
rating: 1
 
dianagram

Here you go:
http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/BFslt

Mar 14, 2011 07:24 AM
rating: 1
 
myshkin

Or K/BB ratios of 355/113?

Mar 14, 2011 11:40 AM
rating: 0
 
dianagram

I checked all pitchers with either single season or career marks between 350-360 Ks and 110-120 BBs .... no dice.

Mar 14, 2011 11:47 AM
rating: 0
 
dianagram

OK .... I was geeky enough to check this ... you used 404 words to do this. (alas, exceeding the target by 90)

Fun article .... as always!

Mar 14, 2011 07:09 AM
rating: 5
 
BP staff member Larry Granillo
BP staff

Ouch. That would be a tough assignment. Something to keep in mind for next year, I suppose...

Mar 14, 2011 11:03 AM
 
dianagram

And for completeness sake, here are the games in major league history to end 22-7:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/COL/COL200107210.shtml
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHN/CHN198706030.shtml
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BRO/BRO193607291.shtml

Mar 14, 2011 07:27 AM
rating: 3
 
jhardman

Is Pie Traynor anywhere on the career pi list?

Mar 14, 2011 07:58 AM
rating: 5
 
BP staff member Larry Granillo
BP staff

Sadly, no. If we could somehow come up with a way to drop his career average by 6 points, though, it'd be perfect...

Mar 14, 2011 11:03 AM
 
ttt

Why do some of the names have asterisks?

Mar 14, 2011 08:20 AM
rating: 0
 
ostrowj1

Active players that are likely to drop out of the Pi day festivities next year.

Mar 14, 2011 08:38 AM
rating: 2
 
dianagram

Card MLB.com reporter with the tweet of the day:

"Outstanding that on Pi Day our two leadoff hitters wear No. 3 (Theriot) and No. 14 (Prado). #StLCards #Braves #geek"

Mar 14, 2011 09:43 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Larry Granillo
BP staff

I really wanted to find a picture of Evan Longoria and David Price standing next to each other, but I failed. How sad.

Mar 14, 2011 11:04 AM
 
BP staff member Larry Granillo
BP staff

Someone asked this on Twitter, and I thought it'd be something worth adding here.

Of all pitchers (no innings limit), the player with the career ERA closest to pi is Mike Marshall. His 3.141346 is a bit closer to pi than Wayne Granger's 3.142484

Mar 14, 2011 11:06 AM
 
dianagram

Here is the list of single season ERAs of 3.14
http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/RRgPz

The ones who come CLOSEST to 3.1415927 (each finishing with 3.141509434) all pitched 212.0 innings and gave up 74 ERs:
Mel Parnell 1948 BOS
Jerry Koosman 1970 NYM
Paul Foytack 1957 DET

Mar 14, 2011 11:44 AM
rating: 3
 
batts40

I really enjoy the content Larry has added to the site. Good work, it's always a fun and interesting read.

Mar 14, 2011 11:33 AM
rating: 2
 
NYYanks826

Larry,

Fun article. Keep up the great work!

Just a sidenote. Otis Nixon is just a prime example of how far speed and defense can get you in the Major Leagues.

He had 5,000+ AB in his career, and he managed a mere .044 ISO.

Any idea if that's some kind of record for lowest ISO (min 5,000 career AB)?

Mar 15, 2011 00:49 AM
rating: 0
 
John Collins
(110)

But what is even geekier than Pi Day is to call it Half Tau Day:
http://halftauday.com/

It is argued that pi's mathematical significance is exhausted by its being half the value of tau. I guess tau day would be June 28.

Mar 15, 2011 07:56 AM
rating: 0
 
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