This Date In Royals History–1969 Edition: March 8

Two solo home runs lifted the Royals to an exhibition game victory over the Washington Senators, 2-1, at Fort Myers. Center fielder Pat Kelly led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run off Washington’s Bruce Howard. The Senators came back to tie the score in the second, when Brant Alyea singled and later scored on a Hank Allen single. But first baseman Chuck Harrison belted a home run in the sixth for the eventual winning margin.

Roger Nelson pitched the first three innings for Kansas City, allowing just three hits and the one run. Dave Morehead picked up the win in relief, as he worked three innings and allowed one hit and two walks. Jerry Cram followed with three scoreless innings of his own.

On offense, the Royals managed just seven hits. Harrison added a double to his home run, but no other Royal had more than one hit.

The weak offensive showing came despite a pregame hitting lesson from an unlikely source: Washington manager Ted Williams. Apparently Williams and Royals manager Joe Gordon had been discussing hitting theories, and when there was a disagreement, Williams grabbed a bat and began demonstrating his point. By the end of the lesson, almost 30 Royals players had wisely gathered around to get tips from the greatest hitter who ever lived.

Today’s birthdays: Bob Stoddard (1957), Nick Capra (1958), Joel Johnston (1967), Ryan Freel (1976)

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