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From a press release put out by the Seattle Pilots Welcoming Committee, Jack Gordon and Ralph Grossman, co-chairmen:
Plans for civic parade and welcome for Pilots were completed in a hospital, of all places! Jack Gordon, chairman for the big welcome, was in Virginia Mason Hospital where he was recovering from a back injury and broken ribs suffered in a fall at the State Legislature in Olympia, January 27. Shown with Gordon is Ralph Grossman, general manager of the civic luncheon honoring the team in the Olympic Hotel, and student nurse Sharon Wedman. (caption used in the Seattle Shopping News, April 7, 1969)
Jack Gordon, Seattle's Greeter, Recovering from Fractured Ribs at Virginia Mason, discussed civic welcome for the Pilots with Ralph Grossman, while student nurse Sharon Wedman attends. (caption from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer of March 29, 1969)
Accent will be on youth Thursday morning, April 10th when all Seattle turns out to welcome the Seattle Pilots, newest entry in the American League and first major league baseball team in the history of the Northwest. Opening game here is Friday, April 11, against the Chicago White Sox.
The team will arrive at Sea-Tac airport Thursday at 10:15 a.m. on United Airlines flight 382. The team then will travel in a VIP caravan with police escort to the city center at 4th and James where a gigantic civic welcome ceremony is planned, according to Jack Gordon and Ralph Grossman, co-chairmen. The welcome program will begin at 11 a.m., and all Seattle is invited.
Governor Dan Evans, Seattle Mayor Floyd C. Miller, the city and county councils, newly elected King County Executive John Spellman, and just plain baseball fans by the hundreds will be the official greeters.
A volunteer citizens committee including Jack Keene, Mel Anderson, Bob Hardwicke, Stefani Slater, Police Chief Frank Ramon, Louis V. Larsen, Ed Devine, Arden Aegerter, Jim Waesche, and Ruby Cassady is pulling out all stops for a salute which will include music, serpentine, a rally, parade and a civic luncheon.
The caravan will arrive at the Veteran's Memorial Plaza where federal, city, county and state dignitaries will meet and welcome them.
The Nathan High School Stage Band, the Franklin High School Bel Cantos, the Shamrock Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Norm Hoagy Band will participate in a rocking-socking show. Two Little League baseball teams in uniform will be on the platform with the Seafair commodores and Seafair royalty.
Many celebrities of the baseball world will attend, including Joe Cronin, American League president, Vernon "Lefty" Gomez, all-time baseball great, Joe Schultz, Pilot's field manager, Marvin Milkes, Pilots' general manager, Dewey Soriano, club president, William Daley, Cleveland club owner, and Bowie Kuehn, baseball commissioner.
Former players from the Seattle Rainiers and the Seattle Indians are scheduled to appear and be introduced by Torchy Torrance, former Rainier official.
A special guest of the team, and arriving with them on the plane, is Bridget Hanley, star of the popular new ABC-TV series, "Here Come the Brides." Bridget grew up in the Puget Sound area and will attend the welcoming ceremony, the civic luncheon, and the opening day game before returning to Hollywood.
The public is invited to attend both the free welcoming ceremony and the civic luncheon held at the Olympic Hotel immediately following.
Sponsors of the events are Greater Seattle, James Douglas, president, Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Winston Brown, president, the Restaurant Association of the State of Washington, Denver Burtenshaw, president, and Central Association of Seattle, Bob Banks, president.
The Norm Hoagy Band will lead the parade from the Memorial Plaza to the Olympic Hotel, with a police escort. The route of the parade will be up 4th Avenue to Pike Street, east on Pike to 5th, south on 5th to Victory Square on University Street, and into the University Plaza and the Olympic Hotel where a gala luncheon will be held at $5 per person, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, Some 800 are expected to attend the affair.
The Pilots open the baseball season on Friday against Chicago at Sicks Stadium.
This or similar stories and photos ran in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on March 29 and the Seattle Shopping News on April 7, 1969.
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