Pittsburgh Pirates: 30 greatest players in franchise history

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(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
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1920-37. Pie Traynor. 21. player. 4. . 3B

They don’t hand out nicknames like “Pie” anymore. It’s a good thing. Pie Traynor can go down as the most delicious-sounding Pirates player of all-time. On this list, he’s a little further from the top.

Traynor spent his entire 17-year career in Pittsburgh. During the nearly two decades with the Pirates, Traynor won a World Series, finished in the top-10 of the MVP vote six times, ultimately landing himself into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Beginning in 1922, Traynor took over as the primary third baseman in Pittsburgh after playing in a combined 24 games in 1920 and 1921. In 1923, he had one of his best seasons. Traynor posted career-highs in hits (208), triples (19) and home runs (12).

Over the next few seasons, Traynor continued to produce runs. Seven times he drove in 100+ runs. From 1925 to 1931, he never had fewer than 182 hits.

Overall totals for Traynor to note include his .320/.362/.435 slash line and 2,416 hits. He’s tied for fourth in hits and has the ninth-highest batting average in team history.

In the 1925 World Series, Traynor came up huge for the Pirates. He slashed .346/.414/.615 with a home run and a pair of triples.

When you look at all-time leaders in Pirates history, both career-wise and for a single-season, Traynor’s name is all over the place. His .366 batting average in 1930 is one of the best ever by a Pirates player.

Traynor’s numbers don’t quite stack up well against others from his era or modern baseball. However, he remains an all-time great in franchise history and someone we should never forget about.

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