This is my second 1969 Topps Lou Piniella card. The first one I made he was on the Seattle Pilots. Both the Pilots and the Royals were American League expansion teams in 1969. In Ball Four, Jim Bouton writes of Piniella's time in Seattle: "Lou Piniella has the red ass. He doesn't think he's been playing enough....He says they know they don't want him and that he's going to quit baseball rather than go back to AAA."
Lou was right, they didn't want him. He was a 25 year old "prospect" with a reputation as a troublemaker and the Pilots traded him just before the start of the season to Kansas City for outfielder Steve Whitaker and relief pitcher John Gelnar. Whitaker played in less than half the games that season hitting .250. Gelnar posted a 3-10 record with 3 saves. Piniella won the AL Rookie of the Year award.