Ok, call me strange but what strikes me as interesting about this week’s MCM, 1930 Pie Traynor, is this… he has a 13-39 but a 26-14. Don’t think I didn’t notice the abbreviation of his hometown, either.
Aside from that, I love this card. I had a affinity for Harold “Pie” Traynor going back to when I was a kid. I bought these baseball cards (the kind with bubble gum) that depicted old time baseball stars. And let’s face it, back before the days of Schmidt and Brett, there wasn’t a plethora of Hall of Fame third baseman. So Pie Traynor was the “go to” guy for a legitimate third base superstar from the past.
Of course, when APBA came out with the 1930 set, there was Pie with his 3B-6 staring at me. I seem to recall another pretty nifty 3B-6 in Freddie Lindstrom, if memory serves but I already had a history with Mr Traynor.
He deserved that status, too. From his reputation as a great fielder to his hitting prowess (even in his batting-rich era, he hit .320 for his career). In 1930, he hit .366 to accompany the Waner boys who also both hit over .360.
With Traynor hitting .366 in 1930, it shouldn’t be too surprising that he gets a total of five 7s on his card. Part of the reason is because of the relative lack of power (0-0-0) and speed (just one 10) compared to other monster cards. Those hits have to be made up somewhere.
Pie Traynor wasn’t exactly a speed demon on the basepaths but early on in his career (he was 31 in 1930), he actually regularly hit the double digits in steals. In fact, 1930 was his first full year he didn’t steal at least ten bases and he never did again afterwards.
One last bit of trivia: Ironically, Pie Traynor’s 1930 season was the only season between 1922-1933 that he didn’t have 500 at-bats. He missed only by 3 at-bats, mind you and his figure was slightly skewed by a higher than average sacrifice hits mark. Traynor was indeed a model of consistency, playing full time and hitting .300 or better nine times and over .330 five times.