Caple: Seattle Pilots barely remembered except through ‘Ball Four’

From SABR member Jim Caple at on August 25, 2016, with mention of SABR member David Eskenazi:

The Seattle Pilots had an official theme song that included the lyrics: “You brought the majors to the evergreen Northwest; now, go, go you Pilots, you’re going to be the best!”

Sadly, those lyrics should have been: “Now go, go you Pilots, you’re going to be the Milwaukee Brewers (not that you’re ever going to be very good there, either).”

As part of a four-team expansion that also saw the debuts of the Montreal Expos, Kansas City Royals and San Diego Padres, the Pilots began in Seattle in 1969. But just a year later they were gone, relocated to Milwaukee after going bankrupt and being bought by Bud Selig. Nearly a half-century later, little physically remains here from that season. The Pilots’ home of Sicks’ Stadium was torn down decades ago, and a Lowe’s home improvement store now stands on the site. Inside the store is a replica of the departed ballpark’s home plate and markings where the bases and mound once were.

“You go back a couple generations in baseball history and we had professional baseball from 1901 to 1969, through two world wars and a depression, and then — poof! — it’s gone,” Seattle sports historian David Eskenazi said. “The first year we didn’t have pro baseball was 1970.”

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Originally published: August 25, 2016. Last Updated: August 25, 2016.