In a way, you could call today the Brewers' birthday.
On this day in 1967 the American League announced that they had awarded an expansion franchise to Pacific Northwest Sports, Incorporated. The team, known as the Seattle Pilots, was scheduled to debut in 1969 alongside fellow new AL member Kansas City and new National League franchises in Montreal and San Diego.
When you consider how big of a business baseball has become, it's really pretty incredible that less than 50 years ago the league would agree to put a team into a pretty difficult situation in Seattle. The franchise opened play in Sicks Stadium, a 30+ year-old facility that had a capacity of just 18,000 for the Pilots' home opener. There was no upper deck, and the largest crowd recorded at the facility was 23,657 for a game against the Yankees in August.
Of course, the Pilots' time in Seattle was brief. After just one season Pacific Northwest Sports Inc. went bankrupt and the team was sold to Bud Selig, who brought it to Milwaukee and renamed it the Brewers.
With help from Brewerfan.net and the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- 2012 Brevard County Manatee Shea Vucinich, who turns 24.
- 1990-91 Brewer Julio Machado, who turns 47.
- 1988-90 Brewer Tom Filer, who turns 56.
Today is also the ninth anniversary of a nine-player trade that sent first baseman Richie Sexson to Arizona and brought Chris Capuano, Craig Counsell and others to Milwaukee. We covered that event in this space last year.