Seattle Pilots

Seattle Pilots  

Brewers Timeline

1969

Seattle Pilots Team Formation

The front man for the franchise ownership, Pacific Northwest Sports, Inc. (PNSI), was Dewey Soriano, a former Rainiers pitcher and general manager and former president of the PCL. In an ominous sign of things to come, Soriano had to ask William R. Daley, who had owned the Indians at the time they flirted with Seattle, to underwrite much of the purchase price. In return, Soriano sold Daley 47 percent of the stock, the largest stake in the club. He became chairman of the board while Soriano served as president.

However, a couple of factors were beyond the Pilots' control. They were originally not set to start play until 1971 along with the Kansas City Royals. However, the date was moved up to 1969 under pressure from Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri. Professional baseball had been played in Kansas City in one form or another from 1883 until the A's left for Oakland after the 1967 season, and Symington would not accept the prospect of Kansas City having to wait three years for baseball to return. The American League would not allow only one new team to enter the league, as the resulting odd number of teams would unbalance the schedule. That meant Kansas City and Seattle had to be admitted together.
1970

Moving to Milwaukee

Federal Bankruptcy Referee Sidney Volinn declared the Pilots bankrupt on April 1, six days before Opening Day - clearing the way for them to move to Milwaukee. The team's equipment had been sitting in Provo, Utah with the drivers awaiting word on whether to drive toward Seattle or Milwaukee. With the season's opening day only six days away, there was not enough time to order completely new uniforms, so the club had to remove the Pilots logo from team uniforms and replace them with Brewers logos. In fact, the outline of the old Pilots logo could still be seen on the Brewers' uniforms. Selig's original intention had been to adopt navy and red as the team colors, hearkening back to the minor league club souvenir buttons sold at White Sox games at County Stadium featured the major league club's logo in that color combination, but with no time to order new uniforms, the Brewers adopted the blue and gold of the Pilots as their own. That color combination, in various shades, is still used by the club. The short notice along with their geographical location also forced the Brewers to assume the Pilots' old place in the AL West. While this resulted in natural rivalries with the White Sox and Twins, it also meant the Brewers faced some very long road trips, traveling to the Angels and Athletics for three series each per season.
1997

Realignment

This realignment was widely considered to have great financial benefit to the club moving. However, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, Commissioner (then club owner) Bud Selig decided another team should have the first chance to switch leagues. The Kansas City Royals of the American League's Central Division were asked first, but they decided not to move over to the National League's Central Division. The choice then fell to the Brewers, who, on November 6, 1997, elected to move to the National League's Central Division. At the same time, the Detroit Tigers agreed to move from the AL East to the AL Central (to replace Milwaukee). The Tampa Bay Devil Rays joined the AL East and the Arizona Diamondbacks joined the NL West. Had the Brewers elected not to move to the National League, the Minnesota Twins would have been offered the opportunity next.

Milwaukee had formerly been a National League town, having been the home of the Braves for 13 seasons (1953–65). With the Brewers having joined the National League, it was now necessary for their pitchers to take batting practice, because the NL has a no DH rule.
2001

Building Miller Park

By 1996, the club was set to build a new ballpark near the site of County Stadium, which would have a retractable roof to counter the unpredictable Wisconsin weather in the spring and autumn. It also helped to bring more fans and their families from all around Wisconsin to come to games with a practical guarantee of no rain-outs, bring in more potential revenue for the club.

Miller Park was opened in 2001, built to replace Milwaukee County Stadium. The stadium was built with $310 million of public funds, drawing some controversy, and is the only sporting facility to have a fan-shaped retractable roof. Miller Park has a seating capacity of seating 41,900 and with standing room 43,000, which is 10,000 fewer seats than County Stadium.

The park was to have opened a year earlier, but an accident during its construction, which resulted in the deaths of three workers, forced a year's delay and $50 million to $75 million in damage. On July 14, 1999, the three men lost their lives when the Lampson "Big Blue" crane, one of the largest in the world, collapsed while trying to lift a 400 ton right field roof panel. A statue commemorating the men now stands between the home plate entrance to Miller Park and Helfaer Field.
2004

Bud Selig Sell The Brewers

On January 16, 2004, Selig announced that his ownership group was putting the team up for sale, to the great relief of many fans who were unhappy with the team's lackluster performance and poor management by his daughter, Wendy Selig-Prieb, over the previous decade. In September 2004, the Brewers announced they had reached a verbal agreement with Los Angeles investment banker Mark Attanasio to purchase the team for a reported US$223 million. The sale to Attanasio was completed on January 13, 2005, at Major League Baseball's quarterly owners meeting. Other members of Attanasio's ownership group include private equity investor John Canning, Jr.., David Uihlein, Harris Turer and Stephen Marcus, all of whom were involved with the previous ownership group led by Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig. Since taking over the franchise, Attanasio has worked hard to build bridges with Milwaukee baseball fans, including giving away every seat to the final home game of 2005 free of charge and bringing back the classic "ball and glove" logo of the club's glory days on "Retro Friday" home games, during which they also wear versions of the team's old pinstriped uniforms.

Pilots Primary Logo History Pilots Alternate Logo History No Wordmark Logo History

 

Team Information Team History

City:
Seattle - Milwaukee

Nickname:
Pilots - The "Pilots" name originates from the owner's part-time job as a harbor pilot and the city's association with the airplane industry.

Stadium:
Miller Park
2001 - present
Milwaukee County Stadium
1970 - 2000

*Seattle*
Sick's Stadium 
1969

Owner:
Mark Attanasio
2005 - present
Bud Selig
1970 - 2005
  • Wendy Selig-Prieb (acting owner)
  • 1992 - 2005
William Daley 
1969 - 1970

Established: 1969

League History:
Major League Baseball
2000 - present
National League
1998 - 1999
American League
1969 - 1997

Team History:
Milwaukee Brewers
1970 - present
Seattle Pilots
1969

World Series: 0

Retired Numbers:
4 Paul Molitor
19 Robin Yount
34 Rollie Fingers
42 Jackie Robinson
44 Hank Aaron
- Bud Selig

  *Red is this team's history

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