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Celebrate ‘Pi Day’ (or ‘Pie Day’) with some great Detroit Tigers of the past

When former Tiger Quintin Berry wears the Brewers' "City Connect" uniforms as their first-base coach, he is, indeed, a blue Berry.

Today is March 14 — better known as one of our favorite “holidays”: “Pie Day.”

Ah, a day to celebrate the many fantastic pies out there — lemon meringue, banana crème, strawberry rhubarb, or even pepperoni — as well as, say, Baseball Hall of Famer Pie Traynor (who spent seventeen distinguished seasons at third base for the Pittsburgh Pie-rates) or even lesser-known outfielder Felix Pié. (OK, OK, it’s pronounced, “Pee-yay,” but the dude had a career .298/.313/.422 line against the Detroit Tigers, so we’re working him in here.)

Or perhaps even MLB’s pie-adjacent players of the past, from former No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel (though he was a Tigers 15th-rounder before that) to outfielder Quintin Berry (another former Tiger) to little-used right-hander Rocky Cherry (who pitched against the Tigers once)?

When former Tiger Quintin Berry wears the Brewers’ “City Connect” uniforms as their first-base coach, he is, indeed, a blue Berry.

Then again, to be accurate, it’s actually “Pi Day,” thanks to the date: 3/14, better known as the start to the mathematical ratio of a circumference to its diameter — pi. (Well, the ratio is closer to 22/7, but that looks more like a 2022 Tiger’s ratio of strikeouts to walks than it does a holiday.) Pi, of course is an infinite number starting at 3.14 … and continuing … 159265359 … and on and on ….

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There aren’t a lot of mainstream baseball statistics featuring 3.14 or any variation with a slightly off-the-mark decimal point (just stick with us on this): For pitchers, there’s ERA (where it’s good); for hitters, we have to go with .314, and then we get batting average (good), on-base percentage (not so good) and slugging percentage (awful).

Still, that got us thinking (once we’d had a slice of pie or two) about which Tiger perfectly idealizes this nerd holiday, especially as the organization doubles down on math and science under new president of baseball operations Scott Harris. Let’s work through the math, shall we?

Harvey Kuenn

Harvey Kuenn

Batting average: Keen on Harvey!

Only one player has hit .314 over his entire career with the Tigers: Infielder Harvey Kuenn, who played 1,049 games with the Tigers over eight seasons (1952-59). It’s a run that included an AL Rookie of the Year nod (1953), seven seasons with an All-Star appearance and the 1959 AL batting title, before he was infamously traded, straight-up, for…

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