March 14th is Pi Day, a holiday dedicated to the irrational number Pi which is often shortened to 3.14. It’s a day when everyone is welcome to geek out about math and, occasionally, pie.
The Colorado Rockies won the crown for enthusiasm among MLB teams today but they aren’t the only club with connections to the 73rd day of the year.
Remember Bobby Jenks, who spent 2011 in Boston? (It’s probably fair if you say no.) His birthday is today! He shares the day with a who’s who of other former Red Sox players. Mike Rochford, Bill Kennedy, Jack Rothrock, and Marty McManus were all born on Pi Day.
Larry Gardner, whose Boston career ended in 1917, struck out exactly 314 times over his 17-year career.
Bill Carrio, Gene Desautels, and Billy Hitchcock all had career slugging percentages of .314.
Pat Dodson (we’ve got Dodson here!) and Bill Mundy each had a career on base percentages of .314. Bill Lamar, Hal Rhyne, and Rip Williams all OBP’d .314 during their time with the Sox.
No Red Sox player finished their career with a batting average of .314 but Mike Greenwell, Fred Lynn, Pete Runnels, Matt Batts, and Red Ruffing each hit the mark during a single season.
Among pitchers, Frank Viola, John Wyatt, Frank Sullivan, Mel Parnell, and Ben Van Dyke each finished a season with an ERA of 3.14.
Recording statistics that line up with Pi is one thing, but every baseball player has a number on his back: who could help build that photo lineup the Rockies formed? We’ll just stick to 3.14 itself to keep things simple.
Number three brings back some familiar names from earlier: Jack Rothrock and Marty McManus. It was also worn by players including Jimmie Foxx, Jody Reed, 2004 jumping wonder Pokey Reese, David Wells, David Ross, and 2016 sensation Sandy Leon!
Those to don number one include Bobby Doerr, Rabbit Warstler, and Billy Conigliaro. They are paired with number fours (Rabbit Warstler and Billy Conigliaro wore that too) Joe Cronin, Lou Boudreau, and Butch Hobson.
Of course, the number three can also be paired with 14, worn most notably by Jim Rice.
If we keep digging to those who wore number 31 and pair them with our earlier number fours we find, among others, Hoot Evers, Cesar Crespo, Dave Roberts, Jon Lester, and Drew Pomeranz.
Soon it will be sunny and warm in Boston and baseball will be played in Fenway Park. But for now, celebrate Pi Day however you choose. And feel free to cheat a little.