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Today In Brewer History: The First Slam

On this day in 1969, a Saturday crowd of just 7,360 fans made their way into Sick's Stadium in Seattle to watch the expansion Pilots play one of the wildest games of their debut season. The Washington Senators, managed by Ted Williams, jumped out to an 11-3 lead but the Pilots came roaring back in the late innings, scoring 13 runs in their final three trips to the plate for a 16-13 victory.

The Pilots' biggest inning in the game was the sixth: They scored two runs on a Don Mincher homer, another on a Mike Hegan bases loaded walk, one on Mincher's RBI single and four more on third baseman Rich Rollins' grand slam, the first in franchise history.

Rollins isn't a former Brewer we talk about very often, and for good reason. He appeared in just 72 games combined between the 1969 Pilots and 1970 Brewers, hitting .222/.271/.316 over 230 plate appearances. The grand slam he hit in this game was one of just four long balls he hit as a Brewer, and his only hit in six plate appearances on this day.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:

  • George Kottaras, who turns 29.
  • 1988-89 Brewer Joey Meyer, who turns 50.
  • Seattle Pilot Miguel Fuentes, who would have turned 66.
  • 1974 Brewer Ken Berry, who turns 71.
  • 1964 Milwaukee Brave and Seattle Pilot Merritt Ranew, who would have turned 74.
  • Townsend, Wisconsin native Russ Bauers, who would have turned 98. Bauers played eight major league seasons between 1936-50 as a member of the Pirates and two other teams.

Today is also the fourth anniversary of Ben Sheets' 1084th career strikeout, moving him into sole possession of first place on the Brewer all-time list. We covered that event in this space last year.