20 days until the first workout of Spring Training for the Pittsburgh Pirates
The first workout of Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitchers and catchers for Spring Training 2018 is now less than three weeks away
Spring Training is right around the corner. In just 20 days, pitchers and catchers of the Pittsburgh Pirates will take to the fields of Pirate City in Bradenton for their first workout of Spring Training 2018.
When it comes to the Pittsburgh Pirates and the number 20, it is one of ten numbers retired by the franchise. The player this number is retired in honor of is third baseman Pie Traynor.
Pie Traynor was a Farmington, Massachusetts, native and made his Major League debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 15, 1920. Traynor went on to play 17 seasons for the Bucs and was also the team’s manager from 1934-1939. His time as manager included being a player/manager in 1934-1937.
When Pie Traynor retired, he was widely considered the greatest third baseman in baseball history. He owned a lifetime .362 on-base percentage, .366 wOBA, and a wRC+ of 107. Traynor also led the National League in triples with 19 in 1923. During the 1923 season he collected 208 hits, a Pirate infielder would not have a 200 hit season again until Jack Wilson in 204. He was also remarkably difficult to strikeout as he owned just a 3.4 percent strikeout rate for his career, which is the 12th lowest strikeout rate in Major League history.
He was best known at the hot corner was his defense. He led the National League in fielding percentage during his era, as well as leading the league in assists and double plays turned three times each.
Pie Traynor was an All-Star in 1933 and 1934. He was a member of the Pirates’ 1925 World Series Championship team, as well as the 1927 team that was National League Champions. In 1948, he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
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When people think of the greatest players in the long, rich history of the Pittsburgh Pirates they often times mention players such as Dave Parker, Honus Wagner, Paul Waner, Roberto Clemente, and Willie Stargell. However, Pie Traynor belongs in this conversation as well. This is why his number 20 is retired by the franchise.