Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ollie Brown!

Ollie Brown was first
No Padres came before him
Today he'll eat some cake

Happy 68th birthday to Ollie Brown! Ollie was, as most know, the first player selected in the '68 NL Expansion Draft. With the second pick, the Expos took Manny Mota. There are a lot of interesting names among the list of expansion teams' first player, few of which panned out very well. The same year, the Royals and Pilots took Roger Nelson and Don Mincher, respectively. They would both be forgettable had Jim Bouton never written Ball Four. Notable first picks include Ruppert Jones by the Mariners in '76. He would go on to be an All Star in their inaugural season and again with the Padres in '82. In '92, the Rockies took David Nied but he is not the franchise's first player as they signed free agent first baseman Andres Galarraga the day before. Original D-Ray Tony Saunders is probably best known for breaking his arm while throwing a pitch in '99. He never played in the Majors again.

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