On April 8, 1969, second baseman Tommy Harper stepped into the batter’s box in the top of the first inning against California Angels pitcher Jim McGlothlin at Anaheim Stadium.

It was the first at-bat ever for the newly-minted Seattle Pilots, and Harper made it count by smacking a double to left field.

The Pilots scored four runs that inning but lost their first — and only — Opening Day game, 5-4.

A year later, after a rough 64-98 last-place finish in the old American League West, the Pilots were no more.

Over the winter they had become the Milwaukee Brewers and taken up residence in County Stadium, former home of the Braves.

There, the Brewers faced off against those same Angels to open the 1970 season on April 7.

The Milwaukee lineup had a few familiar faces in it, and Harper led off again, but this time, no Brewer reached base until right fielder Steve Hovley singled off Andy Messersmith in the bottom of the second.

Hovely, who came up with Seattle in late June 1969, thus became the first player to reach base (and to get a hit) for both the Pilots and the Brewers.

For his part, Harper reached on an error in the bottom of the third and singled in the eighth.

Harper and first baseman Mike Hegan (walk) were the only guys to get on base in both Opening Day games.

Alas, the Brew Crew dropped their opener, too, (12-0).

They did fare much better on the season than the Pilots had, though, improving all the way to 65-97 and moving out of the AL West cellar.

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1970 Topps Steve Hovley seattle pilots

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