Seattle Pilots

From BR Bullpen

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


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 reliever Diego Segui went 12-6 with a respectable 3.35 ERA. Mike Hegan had an outstanding first half, and he was in the top 10 of the AL batting race in early July when he suffered a hamstring injury, forcing him to miss over three weeks of action. He was selected to represent Seattle in the All-Star Game, but the injury prevented him from playing. Military service also forced Hegan to miss most of August. He hit .292 for the season - tops on the team - and his .427 on-base percentage would have ranked second in the AL if he had enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title. Mincher was Hegan's replacement on the All-Star team.

Still, the team finished in last place with a record of 64-98 as only three regulars (Mike Hegan. 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 high ticket prices and antiquated 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.

Further Reading[edit]

See Also[edit]


  • 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)

Related Sites[edit]

Article on the Pilots' first game at Sicks Stadium