Probably no other American wrote as many words about pie as Mark Twain, the sage of letters and author of some of the classics of American literature. Huckleberry Finn, one of American literature’s most famous characters, took his name from one of Twain’s favorite desserts – huckleberry pie. Twain so loved pies that he often ate half a pie pie for lunch and finished it off for dinner. He published his own recipes, and according to his housekeeper, when in bouts of depression, the only thing he would consume would be an ice-cold bottle of milk and his favorite pie, fresh from the oven. In addition to huckleberry, Twain enjoyed blueberry pie. But his ultimate favorite was what he called “apple mush pie”. It was made by pouring sweet applesauce into a pie filling and covering it with thin pastry crust. The author preferred his with whipped topping.
Probably no other person ever received as many pies in the face as did Soupy Sales. Born Milton Supman, he was an American comedian, actor, radio-TV personality and host. He was best known for his local and network children’s television show, Lunch with Soupy Sales, a series of comedy sketches frequently ending with Sales receiving a pie in the face, which became his trademark. Sales got his television start in Detroit.
Harold “Pie” Traynor
In a survey of baseball historians in 1969, Traynor was selected as the greatest third baseman in baseball history. Born Harold Joseph Traynor in Framingham, Massachusetts, little Harry received his nickname as a child in Somerville, Massachusetts because he frequented a grocery store and often asked for pie. The store owner called him “Pie Face”, which was later shortened to Pie by his friends. Traynor played in the major leagues from 1920 to 1937, exclusively for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a wonderful batter, hitting .320 in his career, but we was mostly known for his defensive play at third base. He revolutionized play at the “hot corner” by playing farther off the bag and into the shortstop hole than most previous players. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1948. By all accounts, he carried his affinity with pie throughout his life.
Diamond Jim Brady
If Twain was the master of pie words, and Sales was the master taking them in the face, then Brady was the master pie glutton. During America’s Guilded Age, Brady was a prominent financier and businessman. He was also legendary for his appetite. It was not unusual for Brady to eat enough food for ten people at a sitting. he would often consume 4-5 pies at a sitting. George Rector, owner of one of Brady’s favorite restaurants, described Brady as “the best 25 customers I ever had.”[
A very obscure, strange fellow from history, Hudson was once “baked” into a pie himself! He was famous as the “Queen’s dwarf” and “Lord Minimus”, and was considered one of the “wonders of the age” because of his extreme but well-proportioned smallness. He stood just a tad taller than three feet as an adult. In 1626, on his seventh birthday, Hudson was presented to the Duchess of Buckingham as a “rarity of nature” and she invited him to join the household. A few months later the Duke and Duchess entertained King Charles and his young French wife, Queen Henrietta Maria in London. The climax of the lavish banquet was the presentation of Jeffrey to the Queen, served in a large pie. When the pie was placed in front of the Queen, Jeffrey arose from the crust, 18 inches tall and dressed in a miniature suit of armour. The Queen was delighted and the Duke and Duchess of Buckingham offered Hudson to her as an amusing gift.