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Herman Weiskopf
April 21, 1969
It is a good thing for Kansas City that the newest Royal, Centerfielder Lou Piniella, has a short memory. Piniella (pronounced pin-ella) was so nervous on Opening Day in Kansas City that he asked the trainer for a tranquilizer—then forgot to take it. This at first might have seemed a cardinal sin, considering that the Royals are owned by drug man Ewing Kauffman, who made his fortune by reminding people to take pills. But all was soon forgiven as Piniella, leading off, got the first hit in Royal history, a double. Moments later he became the first Royal ever to score. What is more, Piniella got hits in his next three at bats and drove in a run for a 4-3 win over the Twins. When he finally flied deep to right field his last time up, Piniella was given a standing ovation by the fans. A day later, with two out in the 17th inning, he brought them to their feet again with a game-winning single. Piniella's showing was not entirely unexpected. In his first time up for the Royals in spring training he led off the game with a home run—and the love affair with the Kansas City fans was ignited. Piniella, who is just 16 hours short of a degree from home-town Tampa University, hit .289, .308 and .317 during the past three seasons with Portland in the Pacific Coast League. He came from Seattle in exchange for Outfielder Steve Whitaker and Pitcher John Gelnar on April 1. It was the sort of trade that might have stifled a lesser man, made as it was on April Fool's Day and marking the fourth time the 25-year-old Piniella had been swapped on his way to a starting assignment in the majors. But Piniella rationalized by saying, "I always figured somebody wanted me because they kept trading for me."
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April 21, 1969

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It is a good thing for Kansas City that the newest Royal, Centerfielder Lou Piniella, has a short memory. Piniella (pronounced pin-ella) was so nervous on Opening Day in Kansas City that he asked the trainer for a tranquilizer—then forgot to take it. This at first might have seemed a cardinal sin, considering that the Royals are owned by drug man Ewing Kauffman, who made his fortune by reminding people to take pills. But all was soon forgiven as Piniella, leading off, got the first hit in Royal history, a double. Moments later he became the first Royal ever to score. What is more, Piniella got hits in his next three at bats and drove in a run for a 4-3 win over the Twins. When he finally flied deep to right field his last time up, Piniella was given a standing ovation by the fans. A day later, with two out in the 17th inning, he brought them to their feet again with a game-winning single. Piniella's showing was not entirely unexpected. In his first time up for the Royals in spring training he led off the game with a home run—and the love affair with the Kansas City fans was ignited. Piniella, who is just 16 hours short of a degree from home-town Tampa University, hit .289, .308 and .317 during the past three seasons with Portland in the Pacific Coast League. He came from Seattle in exchange for Outfielder Steve Whitaker and Pitcher John Gelnar on April 1. It was the sort of trade that might have stifled a lesser man, made as it was on April Fool's Day and marking the fourth time the 25-year-old Piniella had been swapped on his way to a starting assignment in the majors. But Piniella rationalized by saying, "I always figured somebody wanted me because they kept trading for me."

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