Cake vs. Pie, Baseball Edition


In the epic battle that is cake vs. pie, I’m relatively certain we’ve all already chosen our sides, dug in our heels, and prepared to kill our own brother if necessary. Personally, I’m a cake guy because, like the estimable Paul F. Tompkins, frosting makes all the difference to me.  And I never much liked my brother anyway.

This debate has largely been left to arena of actual desserts, however, and we have not delved into the quandary that is Cake vs. Pie, Baseball Edition!  Choose your sides carefully:

James Alvin Palmer

Nickname: Cakes

Nickname origin: Ate pancakes for breakfast every day he pitched.

Position: Starting Pitcher

Team: Orioles

Hall of Fame: 1990

Relevant stats: 268-152, 2.86 ERA, 3.50 FIP, 2212 Ks, 51.5 WAR

Relevant quotes:

“Someone once asked me if I had any physical incapacities of my own. ‘Sure I do,’ I said. ‘One big one – Jim Palmer.” – Earl Weaver

“Cakes has won 242 games, but it took a picture of him standing in his underwear to get nationally known.” – Mike Flanagan

X-Factor: We’re apparently talking about more than one cake here.


Harold Joseph Traynor

Nickname: Pie

Nickname origin: “After sandlot baseball games when the other youngsters would ask for ice cream as a treat from the parish priest, I would ask for pie.”

Position: Third Base

Team: Pirates

Hall of Fame: 1948

Relevant stats: .320/.362/.435, 58 HR, 2416 Hits, wOBA .366, WAR 37.4

Relevant quotes:

“Traynor had feet like violin cases.” – Ed Barrow

“He was a mechanically perfect third baseman, a man of intellectual worth on the field of play.” – Branch Rickey

X-Factor: Never learned to drive a car. I’m not sure why that matters, but it feels like it should.



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Mike Bates co-founded The Platoon Advantage, and has written for many other baseball websites, including NotGraphs (rest in peace) and The Score. Currently, he writes for MLB Daily Dish on SB Nation. He currently cohosts the podcast This Week In Baseball History. His favorite word is paradigm. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBatesSBN.

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I could never trust–or regard, for that matter–any man with hair as eerily perfect as Jim Palmer’s. Also, cake is inherently inferior, and I am bald. Pie it is.

Well-Beered Englishman, Who Once Posted Under the Pseudonym "Paul F. Tompkins" to Ask Dayn Perry a Question When He Was Banned from So Doing

Thou shalt not quarrel with the dessert-food decisiveness and sartorial superlatives of Paul F. Tompkins!