Power Line reported that last Saturday was "Seattle Pilots Day," with the Baltimore Orioles, who were the class of the American League in 1969, only to run into the New York Mets who ran down, with a little assistance from a black cat, the Chicago Cubs and then took the Series.
The Pilots punched above their weight in the notoriety department though, thanks to Jim Bouton’s tell-all book Ball Four. The book chronicled the 1969 season in which Bouton pitched for Seattle until being traded to Houston late in the year for Dooley Womack. Bouton was one of 25 pitchers to appear for the Pilots, an expansion team, in 1969.Bouton for Womack was good for a laugh line in Ball Four, but the most notorious trade the Pilots organization made was probably Piniella for Gelnar and Whitaker at the beginning of the season. Mr Piniella had a great deal of seasoning in the minors, enough so to be the 1969 Rookie of the Year for Kansas City en route to a well-decorated career as player and manager, including with the Mariners. That makes him part of Pilots history, such as it is.
Today, the Seattle Mariners held Seattle Pilots day. The team dressed in Pilots’ uniforms, as did even the ball girls. The Mariners did all they could to recreate the atmosphere of 1969 — e.g. with music and old-fashioned lettering on the scoreboard.
I’m impressed with the Seattle Mariners marketing and promotion department. Yesterday was Lou Piniella day at the ballpark. I understand that, among other promotions, the team handed out Hawaiian Lou-au shirts. Unfortunately, Lou himself, now age 75, did not attend. I hope he’s doing okay.The team currently known as the Milwaukee Brewers (#ThisIsMyCrew) started playing in Milwaukee in 1970, as baseball hadn't yet caught on in Seattle, or perhaps there wasn't enough aviation (information technology still being punch cards) money to outbid Bud Selig.
Tonight, a three game interleague series at Miller Park (and I'm likely to keep typing Miller Park even after the naming rights transfer to somebody else) features the Seattle Mariners, the expansion team that replaced the Seattle Pilots, an expansion team that Milwaukee bid away from Seattle after Atlanta bid away the team Milwaukee bid away from Boston. Sounds like as good a reason as any for both teams to wear Pilots uniforms, doesn't it?