Inside Pitch

Feb. 27, 1948: Herb Pennock and Pie Traynor are elected to the Hall of Fame


FEB. 27, 2013

New inductees Pie Traynor and Kid Nichols with Branch Rickey during the 1949 Induction Ceremony. Herb Pennock passed away in 1948 prior to the Induction Ceremony. (NBHOF Library)

In Game 3 of the 1927 World Series, Yankees ace Herb Pennock was looking to make history by throwing the first no-hitter in postseason history.

Retiring the first 22 batters he faced, Pennock was just five outs away when Pirates third baseman Pie Traynor singled in the eighth to spoil Pennock’s path to the record books. 

Sixty-five years ago this week -- on Feb. 27, 1948 --  it was only fitting that the two were elected into Cooperstown together.

Pennock, the southpaw from Kennett Square, Pa., began his career with the A’s before being sold in 1915 to the Red Sox by future Hall of Famer Connie Mack

“My greatest mistake,” said Mack of letting go of Pennock, who still today is considered one of the best left-handed pitchers of all-time.

Having never thrown a pitch in the minors, Pennock compiled a 241-162 record and a 3.60 ERA with the A’s, Sox, and Yanks over 22 seasons. Known best for his time with the Yankees, the four-time World Series champ had an unblemished 5-0 career record in the Fall Classic. 

After retirement in 1934, Pennock returned to Boston where he became a coach and the farm director of the Red Sox – later becoming the first general manager in the history of the Phillies.  

Considered by many to be one of the best fielding third basemen to ever play the game, Pie Traynor collected 2,416 hits with a .320 career average during 17 seasons – all with the Pirates. The two-time All-Star hit over .300 10 times in his career, never striking out more than 28 times in a season. 

Pie, who received his nickname for his love of pastries growing up, began his career at shortstop before being moved to third base. 

“He had the quickest hands and the quickest arms of any third basemen I ever saw,” said teammate Charlie Grimm. 

Traynor had an unfortunate ending to his career when he injured his arm in a collision at home plate in 1935. He was never the same – making just 12 plate appearances the rest of his career. 

Prior to his injury, Traynor became the Pirates player-manager beginning in 1934 until retiring as a player in 1937. In 1939 Traynor stepped away from baseball, resigning after six seasons of managing the Bucs. 

Nick Anapolis is the spring 2013 public relations intern at the Baseball Hall of Fame


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