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More Senator's Memories

The 1969 MLB expansion was very exciting to me. To a 13 year old, new teams, new uniforms, and new cities were about the coolest thing imaginable. I honestly don't remember anything about any Senators - Royals games, but I remember vividly the first game against the Pilots in Seattle.

I remember the radio broadcast speaking glowingly of the distant Mt. Ranier and the beauty of the city, and the not-so-beautiful Sicks Stadium, a mostly refurbished AAA stadium used the previous year by the Seattle Raniers. The game started about 10pm D.C. time, and my bedtime was 10:30, which forced me to be very 'quiet' in the way I listened to the game. I had a small red Toshiba transistor AM radio. and found that if I put it under my pillow, I could turn up the volume enough for only me to hear the game.

By about the sixth inning or so, The Senators were ahead 9-3. It was nearly midnight, and I ultimately succumbed to sleep. Howard hit a homer, and (I think) Mike Epstein hit two. Guaranteed win. Right? Wrong.

This was in the old days of 3 tv stations and a dozen decent radio stations in the city. I tried to catch the score on WMAL, but couldn't before I left for school. It wasn't until I came home and opened the Washington Evening Star that I found out the Pilots had come all the way back and won the game 11-10. Don Mincher hit a couple of homeruns to seal the win. In those days, a loss was only a bit less fun than a win. I had a team, and that is all that mattered. Bob Short, of course, took care of that two years later.

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