Kent Anderson
2 min readMay 26, 2024

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No. The Pilots were a result of the rushed expansion of 1969, due to the Kansas City A's moving to Oakland a year earlier. Seattle and Kansas City in the American League, San Diego and Montreal in the NL. This was the result of pressure put on by United States Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri who threatened to revoke Baseball's Anti-Trust exemption unless KC had a team in place by 1969. Seattle was picked because the city's PCL team had led the league in attendance for five straight seasons.

The problem was two-fold: The owners had no money and the stadium was too small. By the end of the season, the owners were deep in debt and put the team up for sale. No takers. Team was placed in receivership and then in January of 1970, filed for bankruptcy. There was a local group who would take control of the team, but they would play their home games in Portland until a new stadium was completed. MLB nixed that deal.

The Pilots went to spring training not knowing where they were going to play, rumors had them going to Miami, Toronto, Vancouver and Milwaukee (who had just lost the Braves four years earlier). At a meeting in early March, another group came forward to purchase the team, fix up Sick Stadium and build a new, 45,000 seat stadium for both the Pilots and a future NFL team, but the owners and bankruptcy judge said no.

At the end of spring training, the team's equipment was loaded onto the moving van. The driver was told to go to a pay phone in Salt Lake City and make a call to a specific number. He was told to go to Milwaukee. Bud Selig had brought the team out of bankruptcy for $4.5 million.

The Mariners came into the league in 1976, the result of a lawsuit against MLB, along with Toronto, who had (briefly) agreed to purchase the San Francisco Giants. Both teams started play in 1977.

The Mariners remain the last team to never make a World Series.

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Kent Anderson

Purveyor of Truth and Facts. Lifelong Detroiter. Journalist. Loves good TV, sports, friends and family. Mostly. Also: https://rollingwheelie.substack.com/