Traynor was considered by most observers to be the best third baseman in baseball in the 1920s and early 1930s. He was a high average hitter in a high average era, but his real distinction was in the field. He played far away from the bag, farther than any other third baseman ever had, and he was pretty good at going to his left and charging slow hit balls and bunts. After he showed the way, other third baseman started playing the position more like he did. No one ever called him Harold, his given name. He got the name "Pie" because he loved to east pie as a kid and a friend dubbed him "pie face."