There’s never a shortage of Seattle Pilots collectibles at the National… Yearbooks, schedules, cards, pennants, jerseys… How affordable those collectibles are is another matter, but just because something costs 200 times as much money as I brought to the show doesn’t mean I can’t blog about it. I promise there’ll be affordable stuff mentioned down below as well.
First, we have a Dick Bates home jersey; Bates entire Major League career consisted of pitching in one game on April 27th, 1969, hurling 1.2 innings in relief.
I had to play some games to get the above image to appear correctly; for some reason I’d have an image that looked OK on my computer but got rotated 90 degrees when I uploaded it to WordPress. I could not for the life of me figure out why this was happening, and I ended up getting around it by rotating the image the other direction on my computer and then uploading that image. If anybody has any clue what the heck is going on with that, please leave a comment.
Getting back to the uniform, here’s an interesting detail you never see in baseball cards; I never realized until this past weekend that flannels – or at least 1960’s flannels – had eyelets sewn into the armpits.
Looking for something more affordable? How about this Seattle Pilots pennant for $90? No? OK, fair enough. For some reason, the pennant company took the lower case “p” and “o” in the wordmark and made them larger, presumably to make it fit better on the pennant. Looks a bit goofy, though. I’m sure they would’ve sorted that out in 1970, if only they’d had the chance.
Here’s a John Morris road uniform… Morris pitched in 6 games for the Pilots, and also pitched for the Orioles, Phillies, Brewers (naturally) and Giants. I love the combination of blue and yellow used in the Pilots (and early Brewers) uniforms, and I think that the yellow lettering on a powder blue uniform works nicely. Maybe someday the Brewers or Mariners can revive something like this.
Here’s something that’s affordable: A $40 pocket schedule for 1970, the season that got played in Milwaukee. One would expect a second-year schedule to be more visually appealing than this, but perhaps that was emblematic of the financial struggles of the team at that stage.
Allright, enough of the bank-breaking stuff. What did I get for myself? Well, I completed my 1970 Pilots team set (the team set I had thought was complete until recently) by getting this card of a hatless Rich Rollins in a Twins jersey. Rollins was an All-Star in 1962 as a Twins rookie, and he was an All-Star in BOTH All-Star games that year… I’d forgotten they used to play two games. Good thing that doesn’t happen anymore. I can just imagine the “Both of these count!” hype that would surround them.
Going into the show, I saw that there was a Seattle Pilots card in the 1969 Deckle Edge insert set, so I added that to my wantlist. My reaction to this card is best if, when you read it, you mentally hear a disappointed Homer Simpson voice: “Ohhhhhh…. I wanted a Pilot!” This is a disappointing card, but I bought it anyway. Technically, it’s a Seattle Pilots card, even though the words “Seattle” and “Pilots” are nowhere to be found on the card, the uniform looks like it might be an airbrushed Dodger uniform, and it’s all in black and white. But it’s from 1969, Tommy Davis was on the Pilots in 1969 and all of his cards from 1969 are considered Pilots cards, so….
Much more fun than that (both for me and the original owner) is this 1970 Topps Scratch Off Game featuring Pilots first baseman Mike Hegan on the front.
The Scratch Off “cards” are really little gatefold cards; here’s what a scratched-off card looks like on the inside
And here’s the “back”, complete with the final score that came from all the scratching.
…And the Pilots scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th to beat California 6-5! Woo-hoo! Thats worth the $1 I spent right there.