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Pilot uniform mystery

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  • Pilot uniform mystery

    Hey, there. There is an auction on eBay currently for a Pilots' home uniform. The uniform is from the Barry Halper collection. It's represented as having been Lou Piniella's uniform ("Piniella" is sewn into the collar), complete with a hand-written note from Lou:

    "To Barry,
    This was the uniform I wore with the "Old Seattle Pilots". I wasn't good enough to make that team so I was traded to Kansas City -- where I became Rookie of the Year in 1969.
    Lou Piniella"
    Their are two problems with this. First, while the scrambled egg caps were introduced during Spring Training, the elaborate home uniforms with the striped sleeves and wheel logo were not (so far as I know). And the number on the uniform is 41. Lou wore number 19 with the Pilots. In '69 spring training, #41 was Bob Richmond. Richmond was cut before Lou was traded, but there's no record of Lou swapping out his number (and, at the time, position players wanted lower numbers and pitchers usually wore numbers in the 30s and 40s). Through most of his career, Lou wore #14. He only wore #41 as manager with the Reds and Cubs as their #14s were retired (Rose and Banks, respectively). Of the three Pilots throw-back game, the first two were Brewers (vs White Sox and Twins respectively). The 2006 game was Tigers vs. Mariners, but Jim Slaton was wearing #41 while #19 (and, for that matter, #14) would have been available.

    All I can come up with is an Old Timers game. Especially as Lou put "Old Seattle Pilots" in quotes. Was there a Brewers Old Timers Day where Brewers old timers faced off with Pilots old timers while Lou was managing the Cubs or Reds? Or is there another explanation for this anomaly?

    The wording of the auction is meant to imply that this was the uniform Lou wore in 1969, though it never goes so far as to say that explicitly.

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