Monday, December 14, 2009

The Seattle Pilots Documentary - and how it led to a fantastic trade

I'd like to take a break from Football for a moment to cover an upcoming documentary on the Seattle Pilots and explain how that documentary helped me track down the last Fleer Baseball Cloth Patch that I've been searching for over the last few years.

Anyone reading this who is a collector trying to finish off a set knows the feeling of trying to track down that last item that will complete the set they are working on. Some would say that it can border on obsession. In this case, this has been my obsession for the last few years:

The 1970 Seattle Pilots Fleer Cloth Patch

The Fleer Cloth Patches are one of the first things I collected as a kid, and my interest in them and the number of different versions that I've come across is what led me to start this blog as a way to document these differences for other collectors. Over the years I have been tracking down the patches and had finally gotten to the point where I only needed 1 more patch.

I'd come close on a few occasions, but was never obtain one. Usually when they'd turn up, they'd be included in a near complete set of patches, and the price for the lot would end up far exceeding what I could justify for the one patch I needed.

I'd found the 1969 version of the patch:

but was never able to find the 1970 version.

Then, I came across this:

This is the 2nd part of the trailer of an upcoming documentary currently being worked on called The Seattle Pilots: Short Flight Into History by Play Ball Films. Both parts of the trailer as well as information on the documentary can be found on their website:

At the 5:48 mark the above trailer shows a brief clip of some Pilots memorabilia from a fantastic personal collection. Perched up on one of the upper shelves are the Fleer Pilots patches. Fortunately the documentary's website mentioned the collector's name and also gave his e-mail address as he has been a contributor to the documentary as well as to the Pilots 40th reunion held earlier this year.

Figuring it couldn't hurt to ask an expert Pilots collector if they happened to have an extra Pilots patch, I e-mailed Charles and asked if he could help me out. I also sent him links to my Pilots related posts, including the one on the Fleer Pilots patch variations.

As it turns out, Charles did have the patch I needed. But, he had not been aware that there were 2 versions of this Pilots patch:

He asked if I had an extra copy of the patch on the right, but unfortunately I did not. I told Charles I would check with some other Fleer collectors to see if I could locate one. Fortunately I was able to track one down and subsequently we were able to finalize the trade.

I was able to finally acquire the patch that had eluded me for so long, and Charles was able to add a new variation to his amazing Pilots collection - truly a win - win trade.

I'd like to say thanks to Charles for this great trade and for helping me track down that one last piece of the puzzle to complete my full set of baseball patch variations (at least all of the variations I'm aware of!)

I'd also like to encourage anyone who enjoys the history of baseball to check out the Pilots documentary. According to Director Steve Cox, the documentary is going to be approximately 90 minutes, and they are hoping to have it ready sometime in January. You can sign up to be on the mailing list at their website to receive updates about the release if you'd like.

Based on the trailers it looks like this is going to be a great documentary, with interviews with Pilots players (including Ball Four author Jim Bouton - so you know there will be some good stories!) as well as rare Pilots footage. Thanks to Steve Cox and his team for putting together this fun look at the history of this One Year Wonder. I am eagerly awaiting the film's release early next year!


Sharpe said...

Great story about the trade, very cool way to wrap up the collection.

1969PilotsFan said...

Nice post. I'm still trying to get the gold "S" on the Navy background. It is hard to find, and pricey when you do. On another note, I'm looking forward to getting the documentary when it comes out.

GOGOSOX60 said...

I have that 1970 patch and bought it many years ago at a card show, but don't know if I bought it with other cards or actually picked it up as a curiosity. It's one of my favourite oddball cards in my collection.

Ray Berg said...

Thank you for all your hard work in researching and writing about the Fleer Cloth Patches. Collecting Baseball Cards since 1968.