Seattle Pilots play their first game on April 8, 1969.

  • By Alan J Stein
  • Posted 4/08/1999
  • Essay 1022
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On April 8, 1969, the Seattle Pilots, the city's first Major League Baseball team, play their first regular season game. Playing in Anaheim, California they beat the California Angels in the season opener, 4-3.

The team's lineup, announced to the fans while "Singing in the Rain" was broadcast over the loudspeakers, was:

  • Tommy Harper (2B),
  • Mike Hegan (RF),
  • Tommy Davis (LF),
  • Don Mincher (1B),
  • Rich Rollins (3B),
  • Jim Gosger (CF),
  • Jerry McNertney (C),
  • Ray Oyler (SS),
  • Marty Pattin (P).

Managing the team was Joe Schultz.

In the first inning, Harper led off with a double. Hegan followed with a home run over the centerfield fence, driving in the two runs. Next at bat came Davis, who singled, followed by Mincher who got on base after being hit by a pitch. Rollins grounded out to advance the runners, and McNertney singled to score two runs. At the end of the first inning, the Pilots were up 4-0.

At the bottom of the second inning, the Angels had runners on first and second. With Aurelio Rodriguez and Tom Satriano on base, Bobby Knoop hit a line drive deep into center field. Outfielder Hegan ran back and caught it, but crashed into the fence and dropped the ball. Knoop, running at full tilt, passed Satriano and was called out. The Angels scored one run, and Hegan left the game with a bruised hip and wrist and a cut lip.

In the 5th inning, the Angels scored another run. By the 6th inning, after Pattin gave up 8 hits, relief pitcher Diego Segui was brought in to replace him. The Angels scored one final run in the 9th inning, but it was insufficient to win the game.

Pilots starting pitcher Marty Pattin, who was acquired from the Angels in the expansion draft, was ecstatic about beating his former teammates. "It was tremendous!" he said. "It was a great thrill!"

The Seattle Pilots remained in Seattle only one season before moving to Milwaukee and becoming the Milwaukee Brewers.


The Seattle Times, April 8,1969, p. 31.

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