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Seattle Pilots

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Ballpark: Sicks Stadium (April 11-October 2, 1969) (25,420)

1969pilotslogo.jpg

The Seattle Pilots were one of four expansion franchises which first played in 1969, along with the Kansas City Royals, the Montreal Expos, and the San Diego Padres.

Seattle was managed by Joe Schultz, and their first pick in the expansion draft was Don Mincher. The Pilots won their first game on April 8, 1969 against the California Angels, as well as their first home game, but there were very few other bright spots to the season. Tommy Harper led the American League with 73 stolen bases, Mincher clubbed 25 home runs and made the All-Star team, and reliever Diego Segui went 12-6 with a respectable 3.35 ERA. Still, the team finished in last place with a record of 64-98 as only two regulars (Tommy Davis and Steve Hovley) had a batting average above .250 and no starting pitcher posted an ERA below 4.00. The team's mediocrity, coupled with the small size of 31-year-old Sicks Stadium, led to a per-game home attendance of little more than 8,000. The bankrupt team was sold and moved for the 1970 season and became the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Pilots are best known today as the main subject of Jim Bouton's Ball Four.

[edit] Further Reading

  • Jim Bouton: Ball Four, Wiley Publishing Inc., New York, NY, 1990 (originally published in 1970). ISBN 0-02-030665-2
  • Kenneth Hogan: The 1969 Seattle Pilots: Major League Baseball's One-Year Team, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2007.
  • Bill Mullins: Becoming Big League: Seattle, the Pilots, and Stadium Politics, University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA, 2013. ISBN 978-0-295-99252-5
  • Mark Rousso: "An exhilarating big league bust", in Mark Armour, ed.: Rain Check: Baseball in the Pacific Northwest, Society for American Baseball Research, Cleveland, OH, 2006, pp. 116-122.

Source:

  • Peter Filichia: Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebrations of All 273 Major League and Negro League Ballparks Past and Present, Addison Wesley Publishing Company (March 1993)

[edit] Related Sites

Article on the Pilots' first game at Sicks Stadium

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