A former minor league third baseman, Ron Plaza wrapped up an 11-year playing career (all in the St. Louis Cardinals organization) in 1962 with the Atlanta Crackers, and immediately moved into coaching. He managed the 1963 Billings Mustangs to the Pioneer League finals his first season as a coach, and won the Florida State League championship in 1967 with the St. Petersburg Cardinals. Plaza's first major league coaching job was the hitting coach for the Seattle Pilots in 1969. Pilots General Manager Marvin Milkes let Plaza go along with the rest of the coaching staff as the team struggled with bankruptcy and a host of other issues after completing their one and only season in Major League Baseball. His term with the Pilots earned him mention in Jim Bouton's book Ball Four, as "The Drill Instructor."
This lot features Plaza’s impeccably preserved 1969 Seattle Pilots game-worn road uniform.
The light blue flannel jersey sports proper “Spalding” manufacturer’s tagging on the left front tail, next to a sewn-on size 44 tag, and positioned just above a washing instructions tag with an attached flag tag reading “Set 1 1969.” The inside rear collar of the jersey includes a sewn-on cloth nameplate with dark blue chain-stitching reading “Plaza 44” to indicate coach’s name and jersey size. Across the front of the jersey reads “Seattle” in gold tackle twill outlined in navy blue with fraying evident on each of the letters. The Pilots short-lived “baseball with wings” embroidered logo patch sits on the right chest area just above the team name.
Either short sleeve is adorned with a wrap-around gold-and-blue stripes portion measuring 1.25” in total thickness. MLB’s 1969 “100th Anniversary” embroidered patch is on the left sleeve. The reverse of the jersey sports Plaza’s uniform number “7” in similar gold-outlined-in-blue tackle fashion, although the number could be restored. Both armpit areas is sporting four manufactured air holes and all seven original buttons on the front appear intact.
The accompanying light blue flannel pants sport gold-on-blue piping running the length of either pant leg and include proper “Spalding” tagging in the inside right waistband area next to a washing instructions tag as well as a size 36 waist band tag. On the inside rear waistband is a sewn-on white cloth band reading “69-36-25” to indicate the season, waistband size and length. The pants are in terrific condition with some slight fading/ staining in parts. The fly area includes all four original buttons. A rare game-worn uniform from the team’s only season in the bigs. Photo of uniform example from different player attached.
Part of the esteemed Delbert Mickel estate collection.