Monday, February 20, 2012

1969 Topps Lou Piniella

Seattle Pilots CTNW Fan Favorites #5

I'm putting together 5 "Cards That Never Were" fan favorites from each team. These are not necessarily the 5 best players from the franchise. So as David Letterman used to say before Stupid Pet Tricks, "This is only an exhibition. This is not a competition. Please, no wagering."

The Pilots played exactly one season on the MLB.  An inadequate stadium, lack of cash flow and poor management decisions resulted in the Pilots being sold to a Milwaukee car dealer named Bud Selig.  An example of poor management decisions was the decision to trade Lou Piniella to the Royals after spring training in 1969. The decision was based on his salary more than his performance. Piniella was a 26 year old rookie who was set to earn $175,000. Piniella went on to win the Rookie of the Year award for the other AL expansion team, the Kansas City Royals in 1969.

Piniella had a few false starts, coming up for a "cup of coffee" for the Orioles in 1964 and the Indians in 1968. Topps considered him enough of a prospect to appear on 3 different rookie cards.


  1. Sweet Lou! Loved him as the Cubs manager. In his post game comments he seemed to start half his answers with, "look, ...".

  2. Nice. Any plans for a "B version" featuring Lou with the Royals?

  3. He was the 1969 Rookie of the Year, so....

  4. Fascinating blog...I just stumbled over it today. It almost makes me want to start flipping through some of my card binders from the '60s and '70s.

    A correction regarding Sweet Lou: His salary was NOT $175K in 1969. That was the standard fee Seattle paid when they selected him in the Oct. '68 expansion draft.

    Pics of Lou in a Seattle uniform are rare, but you can find another in the 1970 MLB Baseball Stars Official Photostamps (Sheet 19) set.