Fenway Park Seating

Feb. 24, 1969

Marvin Miller, executive-director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, reminded the owners that the union was becoming far stronger than anticipated.

The threat of a spring training strike was taken seriously. Baseball had expanded by two teams in each league – the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Pilots in the AL, the Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres in the NL

The PIlots, known for little beyond providing a setting for Jim Bouton’s best-selling book, “Ball Four,” moved to Milwaukee during spring training in 1970.

Red Sox general manager Dick O’Connell groused over several unsigned Red Sox including Jim Lonborg (Boston’s player representative), Dick Ellsworth, Rico Petrocelli and George Scott.

Carl Yastrzemski said he expected to sign a new deal within days.

At least the lull in baseball activity made for one interesting photo. Red Sox manager Dick Williams was shown in the batting cage taking a cut, with someone identified as “Carleton” Fisk catching.

Fortunately the spelling of Fisk’s first name was common knowledge by the time it appeared on a Hall of Fame plaque.

And spring training proceeded without a hitch once Miller made some legal maneuverings that guaranteed players a median salary of $20,000.