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Today In Brewer History: The Pilots Have Landed

The Seattle Pilots played the first game and picked up the first win in franchise history 44 years ago today.

On this day in 1969 a collection of four expansion teams made their major league debuts...and amazingly, all of them won.

The Expos beat the Mets 11-10 in New York, the Royals opened at home with a 4-3, 12 inning win over the Twins and the Padres beat the Astros 2-1 to set the stage for the new Seattle Pilots, who scored four in the first inning and held on for a 4-3 win over the Angels.

Just 11,930 fans paid to see the historic event at Anaheim Stadium, but the few that did come got to see Mike Hegan hit the first home run in franchise history in the first inning, plating Tommy Harper with the first run. Marty Pattin pitched five innings for the win, a year to the day before starting the team's second-ever game in Milwaukee.

The Pilots actually won three of their first four games but their success was short lived, as they lost eight of their next ten and had fallen to last place just 17 days later. They finished the season 64-98.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to 2003 Brewer Matt Ford. He turns 32.

Today is also the 35th anniversary of Ben Oglivie's Brewer debut, which we covered in this space last year, and the third anniversary of Yovani Gallardo's homer off Randy Johnson to propel the Brewers to a 4-2 win over the Giants, which we covered in this space two years ago.