Sunday, October 25, 2009
1969 AL Expansion
In 1969, the American League added the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Pilots. It had been eight years since the previous AL expansion added the Angels and Senators.
This time, the expansion draft guidelines were going to be more favorable to the new teams. (I guess they wanted to avoid another team losing 120 games!) Each established team would protect 15 players on their 40-man rosters, and the Royals and Pilots would each select up to 30 players (3 per established team, so that the existing teams would each lose a total of 6 players). When a team lost a player, they could protect 3 more players on their roster. (So, each team would theoretically lose their 16th, 20th, 24th, 28th, 32nd, and 36th best players.)
Here's how it went (click to enlarge):
After the draft (held in October 1968), teams also signed free agents, made rule 5 draft picks, trades, etc. The deals listed above were those that occurred before opening day 1969.
The Royals team was a direct result of the Kansas City Athletics moving to Oakland following the 1967 season. Never has a city had to wait so little for a replacement team.
The Pilots were another story. After one season (immortalized by Pilots' pitcher Jim Bouton in his book Ball Four), the team was in financial ruins. Bud Selig (then a car dealer from Milwaukee) bought the team and moved them to Milwaukee. This move occurred during spring training 1970. The team went to camp as the Seattle Pilots, and emerged as the Milwaukee Brewers!
Out of the above collection of prospects, has-beens, never-weres, and other assorted backups, the teams settled on these lineups: