Celebrating Pi Day, Midwest League Traveler-style

March 14 is Pi Day, celebrating the mathematical constant of pi, which is often abbreviated as 3.14. (And, as you know, March 14 is often abbreviated as 3/14 or 3-14.)

Pi is pronounced like the dessert pie, thereby making baseball fans think of two former players on Pi Day: Hall-of-Fame third baseman Harold Joseph “Pie” Traynor and journeyman outfielder Felix Pie (whose last name is actually pronounced “pee-yay”). Traynor’s career predated the Midwest League, but Pie’s intersected with it. Pie played for the Lansing Lugnuts in 2003, batting .285 with 4 HR, 47 RBI and 19 SB in 124 games.

Pie and Traynor are the only two former major-leaguers with Pie in their names. My search through the Baseball-Reference.com player database turned up four former minor-leaguers with Pie in their names: Esequier Pie, Juan Pie, Pie Bailey and Pie Droubay.

Like Felix, Esequier and Juan were born in the Dominican Republic, which means their last names are probably pronounced “pee-yay,” too. But neither of them played in the Midwest League.

There is very little information available about Bailey, but we know he died in 1937, well before the Midwest League was founded.

Droubay has a Midwest League connection, in a roundabout way. He played in the 1930s (before the Midwest League existed), but he suited up for two different Mississippi Valley League teams in 1932: Burlington and Dubuque. Both of those Iowa cities later hosted Midwest League teams, and Burlington still has one. In fact, the Burlington team was named the Bees in 1932, just as it is now. Baseball-Reference.com doesn’t have statistics for Droubay’s tenure with Burlington or Dubuque, but it notes that those teams were Class D affiliates of the Cleveland Indians.

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