Yellon: Cubs’ 1968 expansion draft could have cost them the pennant in 1969

From SABR member Al Yellon at Bleed Cubbie Blue on May 21, 2020:

The things you learn when looking up other things…

As you all know, I am a keen student of Cubs history and enjoy researching and writing articles on the subject here. I was looking up something completely unrelated to the topic here when I came across a Tribune article from October 9, 1968. The article focused on the Cubs’ attempt to acquire a right fielder, specifically Johnny Callison (who they did trade for a year later) or Vada Pinson. Teams wanted one of the Cubs’ top three starters so no deal was made.

But the article also covered some things about the expansion draft, which was scheduled only a few days hence. Teams could protect 15 players from their organization, then each time they lost a player, they could protect three more. The Expos, Padres, Royals and Pilots would each choose 30 players, strictly from the league they were joining, so in effect each of the existing 10 clubs would lose three players to each of the new clubs, theoretically their 16th, 20th, 24th, 28th, 32nd, and 36th best players.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: May 22, 2020. Last Updated: May 22, 2020.