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March 14, 2012

Wezen-Ball

Happy Pi (π) Day, 2012!

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)! It's time to carry on the tradition from last year, where we honor any ballplayers who had a 'Pi (π) Career' - that is, they ended their careers with "3-1-4 career _____".

As in years 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 included players who managed any pi numbers in the 2011 season.

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

2011 Season
.314 Batting Average: Hunter Pence
.314 On-Base Percentage: Coco Crisp
.314 Slugging Percentage: (none)
3.14 ERA: Scott Baker
.314 True Average: Jose Reyes, Michael Morse, Hunter Pence, Evan Longoria
3.14 FIP: Tim Lincecum

Career Pitching
3.14 ERA (min. 1,000 IP): Bert Gallia, Leon Cadore, Tug McGraw, Mike Marshall, Mike Cuellar
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
.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, Mark Teixeira*
314 Doubles: Pete Fox, A.J. Pierzynski*
314 Stolen Bases: Andre Dawson

As I said last year, I think that these players should be remembered every Pi Day (especially the less familiar names, like Bibb Falk or Bert Gallia).

To add on to this year's festivities, I challenge anyone at Spring Training today (and that means the beat writers too!) to take a photo similar to the one above, but featuring this year's players. In Rays' camp, that would mean the stunning star power of Evan Longoria and David Price, but they don't all have to be so shining. From the active rosters found on MLB.com, here are the teams I believe are capable of this photo:

In fact, the Rockies could make their photo go all out. A lineup of (in order) Cuddyer, Field, Jeremy Guthrie (#15), DJ LeMahieu (#9), Troy Tulowitzki (#2), Alex White (#6), and Carlos Gonzalez (#5) would give us 3.14159265 - which would be extraordinary. If anyone in the Rockies organization could make this spectacular picture happen, I'd be a happy man. Other teams might be able to use different combinations of jersey numbers to make this happen - like, say, 31-41-5-9-26 - but I'm not going to try and figure all those combinations out.

Really, I just want to see one good photo for Pi Day, but it's okay if that doesn't happen. After all, we still have Otis Nixon and Gaylord Perry and everyone else. Happy Pi Day!

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

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gweedoh565

Hahaha, awesome. It would be a victory for mankind if the Rockies field that lineup.

Mar 14, 2012 13:32 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Larry Granillo
BP staff

Yes, yes it most definitely would.

(Though, to be clear, I meant a lineup within a photo - like with the players shoulder-to-shoulder. I clarified the text a bit just to be sure.)

Mar 14, 2012 13:39 PM
 
BurrRutledge

I don't feel it would be appropriate to take a picture, but there's a youngster on the train near me wearing a t-shirt with a pi symbol on the front. Wouldn't have had any clue about it if not for your article. It all makes sense now.

Mar 14, 2012 16:54 PM
rating: 0
 
BrewersTT

Beware: you may be stuck in a pi-rut, which as we know can last for years and years.

Mar 15, 2012 08:21 AM
rating: 0
 
bobbygrace

Sorry I'm late to the pi party!

Two AL Central teams have pi pairings among players with retired numbers: the Twins (Harmon Killebrew (#3) and Kent Hrbek (#14)) and the Indians (Earl Averill (#3) and Larry Doby (#14)). As far as Wikipedia knows, they're the only two teams to have retired the pi jerseys.

Mar 15, 2012 08:26 AM
rating: 1
 
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<< Previous Article
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Wezen-Ball: The Purrfe... (03/17)
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