The 1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft was conducted to stock up the rosters of four expansion teams in Major League Baseball created via the 1969 Major League Baseball expansion and which would begin play in the 1969 season.
|1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft|
|Date(s)||October 14, 1968 (National League)|
October 15, 1968 (American League)
|60 (National League)|
60 (American League) total selections
|First selection||Manny Mota (Montreal Expos)|
On December 2, 1967, Gerry Snyder presented a bid for a Montreal franchise to Major League Baseball's team owners at their winter meetings in Mexico City. One potential wild card in Montreal's favor was that the chair of the National League's expansion committee was influential Los Angeles Dodgers president Walter O'Malley, under whom the minor league Montreal Royals had become affiliated with the Dodgers. On May 27, 1968, O'Malley announced that franchises were being awarded to Montreal and San Diego, beginning play the following year (1969).
Business executive Charles Bronfman of the Seagram's distilling empire owned the new team. With a long history of use in Montreal, the "Royals" was one of the candidate nicknames for the new franchise, but the American League's new Kansas City team adopted this name, so the new owners conducted a contest to name the team. Many names were suggested by Montrealers (including the "Voyageurs" and in a coincidental twist, the "Nationals" — now used by the team in its new home in Washington, D.C.) but there was a clear winner. At the time, the city was still basking in the glow of the recently completed Expo 67, the most popular World's Fair to date, and so the name "Expos" was used. The Expos name also had the advantage of being the same in both English and French, the city's two dominant languages.
The Padres adopted their name from the Pacific Coast League team which arrived in San Diego in 1936. That minor league franchise won the PCL title in 1937, led by then-18-year-old San Diego native Ted Williams. Their original owner was C. Arnholt Smith, a prominent San Diego businessman and former owner of the PCL Padres whose interests included banking, tuna fishing, hotels, real estate and an airline. The team was led by longtime baseball executive Buzzie Bavasi.
The "Royals" name originates from the American Royal Livestock Show, held in Kansas City since 1899. Entering Major League Baseball as an expansion franchise in 1969, the club was founded by Ewing Kauffman, a Kansas City businessman. The franchise was established following the actions of Stuart Symington, then-United States Senator from Missouri, who demanded a new franchise for the city after the Athletics—Kansas City's previous major league team—moved to Oakland, California.
Seattle initially had much going for it when it joined the American League in 1969. Seattle had long been a hotbed for minor league baseball and was home to the Seattle Rainiers, one of the pillars of the Pacific Coast League (PCL). The Cleveland Indians had almost moved to Seattle in 1965. Many of the same things that attracted the Indians made Seattle a plum choice for an expansion team. Seattle was the third-biggest metropolitan area on the West Coast (behind Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area).
|Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame|
National League Draft
American League Draft
d Lou Piniella never played for the Pilots. He was traded to the Royals 4/1/1969.
e Jesus Alou, Jack Billingham and Skip Guinn never played for the Expos. Alou and Donn Clendenon were traded to Houston for Rusty Staub. When Clendenon threatened to retire rather than report, Billingham & Guinn were sent to Houston to complete the trade
f Katawczik, Glass, Miklos, Richmond and Click never played in the Majors.
g Ike Brookens never played for the Royals. He didn't play in the Majors until 1975 with Detroit.
g Jimy Williams never played for the Expos or returned to the Majors.
h Rick James (baseball) never played for the Padres or returned to the Majors.
The 1969 Atlanta Braves season was the fourth in Atlanta and the 99th overall season of the franchise. The National League had been split into two divisions before the season, with the Braves somewhat incongruously being assigned to the National League West. The Braves finished with a record of 93–69, winning the first ever NL West division title by three games over the San Francisco Giants.
After the season, the Braves played in the first-ever inter-divisional National League Championship Series. They went on to lose the NLCS to the eventual World Champion New York Mets, three games to none.1969 Cleveland Indians season
The 1969 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The club finished in last place in the newly established American League East with a record of 62 wins and 99 losses.1969 Detroit Tigers season
The 1969 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team finished a distant second in the newly established American League East with a record of 90–72, 19 games behind the Baltimore Orioles.Al McBean
Alvin O'Neal McBean (born May 15, 1938) is a retired Major League Baseball American pitcher.Ernie McAnally
Ernest Lee McAnally (born August 15, 1946) is an American retired professional baseball player. A right-handed pitcher, McAnally spent four seasons (1971–1974) in Major League Baseball as a member of the Montreal Expos.
McAnally stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 190 pounds (86 kg) as an active player. Originally drafted and signed by the New York Mets, McAnally played for one season in the Met farm system at the Class A level before Montreal selected him in the 1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft.
McAnally made the Major Leagues during the 1971 season and it proved to be his finest. He reached career highs in victories (11), innings pitched (1772⁄3), and complete games (8). After a slow start (1-7) which caused him to be farmed out briefly, and, possibly inspired by the Ernie McAnally Fan Club, he returned from the minors to become one of the best pitchers in the NL during the second half. All told he won 30 of 79 decisions (.380) in 112 career MLB games, with 351 strikeouts.Sent to the Cleveland Indians after the 1974 season, he returned to the minor leagues for one year before leaving the game.Expansion draft
An expansion draft, in professional sports, occurs when a sports league decides to create one or more new expansion teams or franchises. This occurs mainly in North American sports. One of the ways of stocking the new team or teams is an expansion draft. Although how each league conducts them varies, and they vary from occasion to occasion, the system is usually something similar to the following:
Each existing team is told it can "protect" a certain number of its existing contracted players by furnishing their names to the league office on or before a certain date. The expansion team(s) then are allowed to select players not on the protected lists in a manner somewhat similar to an entry draft. There are generally a maximum number of players that can be selected from any one team, at least without the team losing the player receiving something in compensation such as a future entry draft pick.
Teams subject to losing players usually tend to put most if not all of the players they truly need to stay competitive on the protected list. This means that the expansion franchise is usually left to choose among players who are old, injury prone, failing to develop as the teams had intended, or perhaps so highly compensated that a team wishes to remove them from the payroll. For this reason, expansion teams are often noncompetitive in their early years in a league, although the advent of the free agent system has modified this somewhat. Marc-André Fleury, who won three Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins, is a notable exception of a star player in their prime being left exposed in an expansion draft, being made available for the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft after Fleury was made expendable due to the rise of Matt Murray at goaltender. The rules of the draft can be tweaked by the league to make the expansion team more competitive if that is the business objective of the league's expansion.Most teams seem to try largely to make a team which will serve until it can begin to develop its own talent, although occasionally players discarded by their old teams benefit from the change in environment and become stars, either again or for the first time.
A similar process occurs when an existing franchise is disbanded and the players contracted to it become available to the remaining teams; this process is referred to as a dispersal draft.Ivan Murrell
Ivan Augustus Murrell Peters (April 24, 1943 – October 8, 2006) was an outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Houston Colt .45's & Astros, San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves in all or parts of nine seasons spanning 1963–1974. Listed at 6' 2", 195 lb., Murrell batted and threw right handed. He was born in Almirante, Panama.
Murrell played in part of four seasons for Houston teams before being chosen by San Diego in the 1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft. His most productive season came in 1970 with the Padres, when he posted career-highs in home runs (12), RBI (35), runs (41), hits (85) and games played (125). He played his last major league season for the Braves.
In a career that spanned a decade, Murrell was a .236 hitter with 33 home runs and 123 RBI in 564 games.
In 1989, Murrell joined the St. Lucie Legends of the Senior Professional Baseball Association, hitting .272 with five home runs in 47 games. He also worked as a scout and a minor league coach for the Houston Astros organization.
Murrell died in Stuart, Florida, at age 63.Jerry DaVanon
Frank Gerald DaVanon (born August 21, 1945) is a former professional baseball player. He played all or part of seven seasons in Major League Baseball, primarily as an infielder.Joe Keough
Joseph William Keough (born January 7, 1946 in Pomona, California) is a former right fielder in Major League Baseball who played from 1968 through 1973 for the Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox. Keough batted and threw left-handed. Coming from a baseball family, he is the younger brother of Marty Keough and uncle of Matt Keough.
Keough had a promising debut with the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium when he hit a home run off Lindy McDaniel in his first major league at bat. After being the fourth player selected by the Royals in the 1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft, he was on the Opening Day roster when Kansas City played its first game in April 1969. Keough delivered a pinch-hit single in the bottom of the 12th inning of that inaugural contest, giving KC a 4–3 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
The following year, he worked his way into the everyday lineup, compiling a .322 average by late June. A severely broken leg sustained on June 28 ended his 1970 season. He returned in 1971, posting career highs with 110 games played, 34 runs, 87 hits, 14 doubles, and 30 runs batted in.
He was traded in the winter of 1972 to the White Sox for outfielder Jim Lyttle and appeared in five games for Chicago in 1973.
In a six-season career, Keough was a .246 hitter with nine home runs and 81 RBI in 332 games.John Bateman (baseball)
John Alvin Bateman (July 21, 1940 – December 3, 1996) was an American Major League Baseball catcher. Listed at 6' 3", 210 lb., he batted and threw right handed.
Born in Killeen, Texas, Bateman grew up in Lawton, Oklahoma. He signed with the expansion Houston Colt .45s as an amateur free agent in 1962. In 10 seasons he compiled a .230 lifetime batting average, and ended his career with the Philadelphia Phillies.Marty Pattin
Martin William Pattin (April 6, 1943 – October 3, 2018) was an American professional baseball player who played in the Major League Baseball as a right-handed pitcher. He pitched for the California Angels (1968), Seattle Pilots (1969), Milwaukee Brewers (1970–1971), Boston Red Sox (1972–1973), and the Kansas City Royals (1974–1980). During a 13-year baseball career, Pattin compiled 114 wins, 1,179 strikeouts, and a 3.62 earned run average (ERA). He had a pitching motion that resembled Denny McLain with a high leg kick.Mike Hedlund
Michael David Hedlund (born August 11, 1946) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for six seasons. He played for the Cleveland Indians in 1965 and 1968 and the Kansas City Royals from 1969 to 1972.Rafael Robles
Rafael Orlando Robles Natera (October 20, 1947 – August 13, 1998) was a shortstop in Major League Baseball. He was born in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic. He was signed by the San Francisco Giants as an amateur free agent before the 1967 season, and later drafted by the San Diego Padres from the San Francisco Giants as the 51st pick in the 1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft. He played for the San Diego Padres from 1969 to 1970, and again in 1972.
Robles was the first player to come to bat in San Diego Padres history. On April 8, 1969, he led off the bottom of the 1st against right-hander Don Wilson of the Houston Astros. He reached base on an error by Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan, then stole second base, but did not score.
He was at best an average fielding shortstop (.958) and a below-average hitter (.188) during his brief major league career. (47 games played)
Rafael Robles died in New York, New York at the age of 50. His son Orlando Robles is a New York-based Latin urban artist who goes by the stage name of YoungSosa. In interviews his son has been asked about his father's baseball career and has stated he is very proud of his fathers accomplishments as a professional baseball player.Roger Nelson (baseball)
Roger Eugene Nelson (born June 7, 1944) is a former professional baseball pitcher. Nelson pitched all or part of nine seasons in Major League Baseball between 1967 and 1976 with a record of 29 wins, 32 losses, and 5 saves.
Nelson was signed by the Chicago White Sox as an amateur free agent before the 1963 season. He played four seasons in the minor leagues before earning a September call-up in 1967. That off-season, he was part of a major trade with the Baltimore Orioles which sent Don Buford to Baltimore and brought future Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio back to the White Sox.After one season with Baltimore, he was chosen by the Kansas City Royals with the first selection in the American League phase of the 1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft. Along with Wally Bunker, Nelson formed a formidable starting duo for the expansion Royals in 1969, compiling a 3.31 ERA in 29 starts. After struggling with injuries in 1970 and 1971, Nelson bounced back in 1972 to finish fifth in the league in ERA (2.08) and also setting career bests with 11 wins and 120 strikeouts. He finished his tenure with the Royals in style, throwing a complete game shutout at the Texas Rangers, 4-0, in the final regular season game ever played at Kansas City's Municipal Stadium on October 4, 1972.
That offseason, Nelson was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in a deal that would bring long-time Royals mainstay Hal McRae to Kansas City. Unfortunately, Nelson would never repeat the successes of 1969 and 1972, and he was sold back to the Chicago White Sox. He was released by the White Sox before ever pitching for them, and after a brief turn through the Oakland Athletics farm system, Nelson got one last chance with the Royals in 1976, appearing in 3 games in September to end his major league career.Ron Brand
Ronald George Brand (born January 13, 1940) is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher, and was an original member of the Montreal Expos.Ron Slocum
Ronald Reece Slocum (July 2, 1945 — August 25, 1988) was an American professional baseball player. Slocum appeared in 80 games for the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball during that team's first three seasons of existence, including the entire 1970 season. A catcher and third baseman when he entered professional baseball, he was a utility infielder and backup catcher for San Diego, playing a near-equal number of games at third base, catcher, shortstop and second base. He threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and weighed 180 pounds (82 kg).
Slocum attended Helix High School. He was initially signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates and spent five seasons (1964–1968) in their minor league system before his newly created hometown team, the MLB Padres, chose him as the 55th overall selection in the National League's portion of the 1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft. Slocum spent the 1969 minor league season with the Double-A Elmira Pioneers before his recall by the Padres in September.Steve Hovley
Stephen Eugene Hovley (born December 18, 1944) is a retired American professional baseball player whose career extended for eight seasons, including all or parts of five years in Major League Baseball for the Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers (1969–70), Oakland Athletics (1970–71) and Kansas City Royals (1972–73). An outfielder, he threw and batted left-handed, stood 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall and weighed 188 pounds (85 kg).
Born in Ventura, California, Hovley attended Stanford University and was selected by the California Angels in the 35th round of the 1966 Major League Baseball Draft. After two seasons in the Angels' farm system, he was chosen by the Pilots in the 1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft—also with the 35th pick. The Pilots loaned Hovley to the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings for the first two months of their inaugural 1969 season before recalling him in June. In his third big-league game, Hovley collected three hits against his former team, the Angels, on June 27. His hot start in the Majors continued for his first two-dozen games, as he reached a season-high .352 batting average on July 24, with ten multi-hit games. But Hovley eventually cooled off and he ended the year with a .277 batting mark in 91 games played. He was a roommate of veteran pitcher Jim Bouton's, whose diary of the 1969 season, Ball Four, became a national sensation a year later. Hovley, like Bouton, was a non-conformist in the baseball world; according to Bouton, other players nicknamed Hovley "Orbie," shorthand for "Orbit."The following season, in 1970, the Pilots moved to Wisconsin as the Brewers, and in their first-ever home game at Milwaukee County Stadium on April 7, Hovley had three hits in three at bats off the Angels' Andy Messersmith; but the rest of the Brewers could collect only one more safety and the team fell, 12–0. Hovley got into 40 games and batted .281 before being traded to Oakland on June 11 for Al Downing and Tito Francona. Relegated to part-time duty with the A's, Hovley hit only .173 in 141 at bats, was sent to Triple-A in 1971, and then acquired by the Royals in the Rule 5 draft. He then played two years as the Royals' fourth outfielder, appearing in 105 and 104 games, to close out his Major League career with 263 hits (39 doubles, five triples and eight home runs) and a .258 batting average in 436 games played.Willie Brown (American football, born 1942)
Willie Brown (March 21, 1942 – July 26, 2018) was an American college and professional football player and coach. A star player for the University of Southern California, he went on to play three seasons in the National Football League. After his playing career, he served as a coach for the Trojans and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.Zoilo Versalles
Zoilo Casanova Versalles Rodriguez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsoilo βeɾˈsaʝes]; December 18, 1939 – June 9, 1995), nicknamed "Zorro", was a Cuban professional baseball player. He played as a shortstop in Major League Baseball, most notably for the Minnesota Twins. He was the catalyst who led the 1965 Twins to their first World Series after moving from Washington to Minnesota. The same year he also won the American League Most Valuable Player award.