Prior to the first game played by each of the new teams, a draft was held the year before for the new teams to attempt to put together a roster of players for the next season. The rules for the availability of players changed slightly from 1962 to 1998, but what was common was the opportunity for the new teams to decide which players they could use from the existing teams in MLB. Over a series of 14 posts, I will review the expansion drafts of each of these newer 14 teams. Included are trades made following the draft and which players were taken first overall. Without further due, here is a recap of the 1960 expansion draft of the Washington Senators.
The Senators were an original American League baseball team in its first season in 1901 and would last through the 1960 season. However, the team would move to Minnesota to become the Twins, leaving DC without a baseball team. But it was decided that Washington would be granted an expansion franchise to start play in the 1961 season. Because it kept the same name, many feel it was the Twins who were the expansion team. All the players that belonged to the previous Senators became the property of the Minnesota Twins. Therefore, within this draft, the Senators would have their new team, new history and new identity.
The draft was the first of its kind, so it was set up that each expansion team would have to take a minimum of 10 pitchers, 2 catchers, 6 infielders and 4 outfielders. They were only allowed to take from other American League teams, with a minimum of 7 players from each of the existing 8 teams. Each team would make 28 selections, at a cost of $75,000 for each player drafted. In addition, both the Senators and Los Angeles Angels had an option of taking one non roster player for each of the prior eight AL franchises for a cost of $25,000 each.
The Angels opened up by taking RHP Eli Grba from the New York Yankees. (Eli was a guest on the Passed Ball Show in 2012.) The Senators took Yankees LHP Bobby Shantz with their first overall selection (#2 overall). Pitchers made up the first 20 picks of the drafts. The Senators would take pitchers Dave Sisler from the Detroit Tigers (4th), Johnny Klippstein from the, Cleveland Indians (6th), Pete Burnside from the Tigers (8th), Carl Mathias from the Indians (10th), Ed Hobaugh from the Chicago White Sox (12th), Hal Woodeshick from the Minnesota Twins (14th), Tom Sturdivant from the Boston Red Sox (16th), Hector Maestri from the Twins and Rudy Hernandez from the Twins (20th).
Next, the teams selected their catchers. The Senators took Kansas City Athletics catcher Pete Daley (22nd) and also selected Athletics catcher Dutch Dotterer (24th). Next came the infielders. The Senators took Tigers SS Coot Veal (26th), Yankees 1B Dale Long (28th), Red Sox SS Jim Mahoney (30th), Athletics SS Bob Johnson (32nd), Baltimore Orioles 2B Billy Klaus (34th) and Twins Johnny Schaive (36th).
Next came their four outfielders. The Senators selected OFs Willie Tasby (38th), Gene Woodling (Orioles- 40th), Marty Keough (Indians-42th), Chuck Hinton (Orioles-44th). The rest of the draft of those players currently on 40 man rosters consisted of Orioles catcher Gene Green (46th), Yankees 1B Bud Zipfel (48th), Indians OF Jim King (50th), White Sox OF Joe Hicks (52nd), Athletics 2B Chet Boak (54th) and White Sox pitcher Dick Donovan (56th).
Out of the non 40 man roster phase, the Senators added 3B Leo Burke from the Orioles (58th), Red Sox catcher Haywood Sullivan (60th) and finished off the draft by taking Twins pitcher Joe McClain (61st). The following is the entire 1961 expansion draft for the Washington Senators:
2Bobby ShantzPNew York Yankees
4Dave SislerPDetroit Tigers
6Johnny KlippsteinPCleveland Indians
8Pete BurnsidePDetroit Tigers
10Carl MathiasPCleveland Indians
12Ed HobaughPChicago White Sox
14Hal WoodeshickPMinnesota Twins
16Tom SturdivantPBoston Red Sox
18Hector MaestriPMinnesota Twins
20Rudy HernándezPMinnesota Twins
22Pete DaleyCKansas City Athletics
24Dutch DottererCKansas City Athletics
26Coot VealSSDetroit Tigers
28Dale Long1BNew York Yankees
30Jim MahoneySSBoston Red Sox
32Bob JohnsonSSKansas City Athletics
34Billy Klaus2BBaltimore Orioles
36Johnny Schaive2BMinnesota Twins
38Willie TasbyOFBoston Red Sox
40Gene WoodlingOFBaltimore Orioles
42Marty KeoughOFCleveland Indians
44Chuck HintonOFBaltimore Orioles
46Gene GreenCBaltimore Orioles
48Bud Zipfel1BNew York Yankees
50Jim KingOFCleveland Indians
52Joe HicksOFChicago White Sox
54Chet Boak2BKansas City Athletics
56Dick DonovanPChicago White Sox
58Leo Burke3BBaltimore Orioles
60Haywood SullivanCBoston Red Sox
61Joe McClainPMinnesota Twins
Prior to the draft, the Senators took RHP Ray Semproch from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Rule 5 draft. After the draft, they traded their first overall selection Shantz to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Harry Bright, Bennie Daniels and RC Stevens, all of whom played for the 1961 Senators. (Shantz was also taken in the 1961 expansion draft by the Houston Colt 45s.) They also signed free agent 2B Danny O'Connell, who would start for the Senators at the position opening day. Here is the entire opening day lineup for the Senators:
- Coot Veal SS
- Billy Klaus 3B
- Marty Keough RF
- Dale Long 1B
- Gene Woodling LF
- Willie Tasby CF
- Danny O'Connell 2B
- Pete Daley C
- Dick Donovan Things did not go so well for the Senators in their first season as an "expansion team." Under former Senators great Mickey Vernon, who played 14 out of his 20 MLB seasons with the club. They finished in last place in the American League, tied with the Athletics with a 61-100 record. That left them 47 1/2 games behind first place New York and even 9 games behind the other expansion team in Los Angeles. The Senators would never make another postseason appearance before moving to Texas for the start of the 1972 season.