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 1968 expansion draft for the Montreal Expos.
MLB had promised a new franchise to Kansas City after the Athletics left there after only being there for 13 seasons. Of course, to keep all AL teams playing at the same time, another expansion team was needed. Seattle was given a franchise called the Pilots. The NL chose to expand also, with San Diego getting a franchise and MLB expanding into Canada for the first time with the creation of the Montreal Expos. This draft added 30 players to each of the four new teams. Each of the expansion teams could only select players from teams in their own leagues. With each league presently having 10 teams, that meant there would be six rounds causing each team to lose exactly six players.
The San Diego Padres opened up the draft by taking San Francisco Giants OF Ollie Brown. The Expos made their first selection, which was Pittsburgh Pirates OF Manny Mota. Their next selection (4th) was Cincinnati Reds OF Mack Jones. They followed that up by taking Houston Astros catcher John Bateman (6th), Philadelphia Phillies infielder Garry Sutherland (8th) and Los Angeles Dodgers RHP Jack Billingham (10th) to round out the first round.
With the Padres getting the first overall pick, the Expos got the first pick of 2nd and 3rd rounds and took 1B Donn Clendenon (11th) from the Pirates. They followed that up by taking OF Jesus Alou (13th) from the Giants. The other notable selection the Expos had was RHP Bill Stoneman (19th) from the Chicago Cubs.
The Expos opened up the 3rd round by taking Pirates SS Maury Wills (21st). The Expos selected former All Star RHP Larry Jackson (23rd) from the Phillies, but Jackson chose to retire. The Phillies sent SS Bobby Wine to the Expos as compensation for Jackson retiring. The Padres had the first selection for the fourth round, so the Expos first 4th round selection was infielder Jimmy Williams (32nd) from the Cincinnati Reds. Another notable selection was RHP Mudcat Grant (who was a guest on the Passed Ball Show) with pick 36 from the Dodgers.
The Expos opened up the 5th round by taking LHP Don Shaw (41st) from the New York Mets. The Expos first pick of the 6th round was OF Roy Fairey from the Dodgers (52nd). They took catcher Ron Brand (58th) from the Astros with their second to last pick. They had also taken Bateman, who was the Astros other catcher in the first round of the draft. Their final pick was John Glass out of the Mets organization.
Here is their entire expansion draft for the Montreal Expos:
PickPlayerSelected fromSelected by
(1)2Manny MotaPittsburgh PiratesMontreal Expos
(1)4Mack JonesCincinnati RedsMontreal Expos
(1)6John BatemanHouston AstrosMontreal Expos
(1)8Gary SutherlandPhiladelphia PhilliesMontreal Expos
(1)10Jack BillinghamLos Angeles DodgersMontreal Expos
(2)11Donn ClendenonPittsburgh PiratesMontreal Expos(2)13Jesús AlouSan Francisco GiantsMontreal Expos
(2)15Mike WegenerPhiladelphia PhilliesMontreal Expos
(2)17Skip GuinnAtlanta BravesMontreal Expos
(2)19Bill StonemanChicago CubsMontreal Expos
(3)21Maury WillsPittsburgh PiratesMontreal Expos
(3)23Larry Jackson[a]Philadelphia PhilliesMontreal Expos
(3)25Bob ReynoldsSan Francisco GiantsMontreal Expos
(3)27Dan McGinnCincinnati RedsMontreal Expos
(3)29José HerreraHouston AstrosMontreal Expos
(4)32Jimy WilliamsCincinnati RedsMontreal Expos
(4)34Remy HermosoAtlanta BravesMontreal Expos
(4)36Mudcat GrantLos Angeles DodgersMontreal Expos
(4)38Jerry RobertsonSt. Louis CardinalsMontreal Expos
(4)40Don ShawNew York MetsMontreal Expos
(5)41Ty ClineSan Francisco GiantsMontreal Expos
(5)43Garry JestadtChicago CubsMontreal Expos
(5)45Carl MortonAtlanta BravesMontreal Expos
(5)47Larry JasterSt. Louis CardinalsMontreal Expos
(5)49Ernie McAnallyNew York MetsMontreal Expos
(6)52Jim FaireyLos Angeles DodgersMontreal Expos
(6)54Coco LaboySt. Louis CardinalsMontreal Expos
(6)56John BoccabellaChicago CubsMontreal Expos
(6)58Ron BrandHouston AstrosMontreal Expos
(6)60John GlassNew York MetsMontreal Expos
After the draft, the Expos purchased CF Don Bosch from the Mets and 3B Bob Bailey from the Dodgers. They also took Floyd Wicker from the Cardinals in the Rule 5 draft as well as OF Don Hahn from the Giants. They then traded Clendenon and Alou to the Astros to get Rusty Staub. After Clendenon refused the trade, they sent Billingham and Guinn to the Astros to complete the deal. The following is the opening day lineup in their 11-10 win over the Mets:
Maury Wills SS
Gary Sutherland 2B
Rusty Staub RF
Mack Jones CF
Bob Bailey 1B
John Bateman C
Coco Loboy 3B
Don Hahn CF
Mudcat Grant P
Under manager Gene Mauch, the Expos finished 52-110, last place in newly former NL East division.