Hawthorn: Max Soriano praised and pilloried for bringing Pilots to Seattle

From SABR member Tom Hawthorn at The Globe and Mail on October 17, 2012:

Max Soriano, who was born to a poor fisherman in British Columbia, helped build a family business before landing a major-league baseball team for Seattle.

Soriano and his older brother, Dewey, a former minor-league pitcher, fronted a group that gained an American League expansion franchise. The sad-sack Seattle Pilots had a disappointing debut on the field and in the stands in 1969. The owners declared bankruptcy and the team moved to Milwaukee before the start of the following season.

Celebrated for their ingenuity in netting the club, the brothers were pilloried for the subsequent shipwreck. A two-metre-tall effigy was hanged from a ramp leading to a monorail station, a protest whose location gave it a peculiarly Seattle feel. The effigy had a sign pinned to it reading, “Thanks Max and Dewey.”

Soriano, who has died in Seattle, aged 86, overcame that setback, expanding his business interests and launching a shipping company with another brother. The company, now run by his sons, operates retail stores under the Alaska Ship Supply banner, outfitting the Bering Strait fishing fleet. Their clothing line is worn by fishermen on the popular Discovery Channel reality program Deadliest Catch.

Read the full article here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/max-soriano-was-praised-and-pilloried-for-bringing-pilots-baseball-team-to-seattle/article4619716/

Originally published: October 18, 2012. Last Updated: October 18, 2012.