During a season in which Seattle's American League team is the
toast of baseball (page 34), the Internet reminds us of its
predecessor, whose home field was named, ominously, Sick's
Stadium. That club was the 1969 expansion Seattle Pilots, whose
lousy play (64-98), poor attendance (8,318 average) and impatient
ownership prompted a move to Milwaukee the next season. For one
fan, the Pilots may have flown away, but they're not forgotten.
"I'm trying to bring the team back to life," says lifelong
Seattle resident Mike Fuller, who in 1997 launched
Mike's father, Dick, a business agent for a labor union, never
got to take eight-year-old Mike to a game that season. So Fuller,
who has worked as a writer, editor and deejay and is now a
paralegal, created the site as a tribute to the lost baseball
love of his childhood. It contains all the box scores and
statistics for the club managed by Joe Schultz (bottom), photos
of the players (such as righty Marty Pattin, top), video links,
radio clips and a download of the catchy Go, Go, You Pilots fight
song. In the history link Fuller recounts how Milwaukee
businessman Bud Selig bought the bankrupt team in April 1970 and
moved it so close to the beginning of the season that there was
barely time to stitch BREWERS on the uniforms.
Fuller hopes someday to write a book about the Pilots, who are
immortalized in Ball Four, Jim Bouton's humorous and
groundbreaking account of his season with the team. Fuller and
Bouton are working together through their websites (Bouton's is
jimbouton.com) to drum up enthusiasm for a Pilots-Mariners
Old-Timers' Game next season at Safeco Field. "People are
interested in footnotes in history," says Fuller. "I think the
Pilots definitely qualify."
TWO COLOR PHOTOS: THE TOPPS COMPANY, INC.