This Date In Royals History–1969 Edition: March 16

The Royals captured a narrow 2-1 win over a split-squad Pittsburgh team in Fort Myers. Ed Kirkpatrick was the hero for Kansas City, smacking a two-run triple in the eighth inning to put the Royals on top.

Kirkpatrick was serving as the “designated pinch hitter,” an experiment the major leagues were trying in spring training. (In 1972, of course, the American League would adopt the rule and drop the word “pinch” from the name.) He also had a double in the game, giving him two of the Royals’ six hits on the day.

On the pitching side, the Royals enjoyed a promising day from starter Wally Bunker, who picked up four strikeouts in three scoreless innings. Tom Burgmeier allowed a solo home run to Jerry May in the fourth inning but only gave up one more hit in his three innings, and Dave Wickersham pitched three scoreless innings to finish off the game.

Today’s birthdays: Rick Reichardt (1943), Jose Mota (1965)

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