This is the third in a series about relatively notable players who were acquired by an expansion team ahead of its first season but weren’t on that team’s roster come Opening Day.
I’m going to cover the expansion Senators and Angels in one go, because they were partners in clumsily-handled American League expansion of 1961. You can read about it more in this SABR article about the mis-management of that year’s expansion, but in a nutshell the AL rushed into expansion and didn’t hold teams to the established rules during the draft. At some point it was realized that the involved draft rules weren’t being followed and adjustments were made so that the rules were followed after the fact. Several players like Dean Chance, Ken Aspromonte and Coot Veal were “traded” from the Senators to the Angels and vice versa to get the expansion teams below the number of players who could be selected from each established team, while other players were assigned back to their original teams to ‘un-do’ their selection.
I bring this up to point out that I am not, for example, going to count future Cy Young winner Dean Chance as “Nearly A Senator” since his time on the Senators roster was more of a technicality than anything else.
I’ll also point out that any references to the Senators means the 1961 expansion team which was created to replace the original Senators who moved to the state of Minnesota for the 1961 season and became the Twins.
Haywood Sullivan – A Senator Only On Paper
Sullivan played in 312 career games, mostly as a catcher, but is more famous (infamous?) for his stint as GM of the Red Sox from 1978 to 1983. The Senators drafted him from the Red Sox, and a little over two weeks later traded him to the Kansas City Athletics for pitcher Marty Kutyna. Kutyna would pitch reasonably well in 104 games for the Senators in 1961 and 1962
Bobby Shantz – A Senator Only On Paper
Bobby Shantz was one of a number of Yankees taken in the expansion draft. A couple of days later he was flipped to the Pirates for three players. He would pitch in relief for the Bucs in 1961 and win his 5th consecutive Gold Glove. The three players the Pirates sent to DC were Harry Bright, Bennie Daniels and R C Stevens. Daniels would earn a 12-11 record for the 100-loss Senators, which is nothing to sneeze at.
Duke Maas – An Angel Only On Paper… And In Spring Training
Duke Maas, who won 14 games with the Yankees in 1959, was selected in the expansion draft and went to spring training with the Angels. He was dealt back to the Bronx shortly before the season started. On the surface it seems like an astute move by the Angels as Maas would make just one 1961 appearance before arm troubles shut him down for good… but the player they got in exchange, infielder Fritz Brickell, would play in just 21 games for the Angels and bat .122
As it would turn out, both players would appear in 1961 Topps as a Yankee… Brickell in the 4th series and Maas in the 5th. This was Brickell’s only Topps card