Times were much different when Dave Dombrowski began his baseball career.
The year was 1978, and Dombrowski – a recent graduate of Western Michigan University – had just started working for the Chicago White Sox as a scouting and player development assistant. He arrived in the majors only one year after the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays joined the American League as baseball’s 25th and 26th teams.
Dombrowski quickly caught the eye of legendary general manager Roland Hemond, who became a mentor to him. After just four years with the White Sox, Dombrowski was promoted to assistant general manager – at the age of 25.
It was the first step in the many staircases Dombrowski wanted to climb in the game.
“I remember at that time in my life, there were certain things that I would have liked to have experienced during my career,” said Dombrowski, who is now the president of baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox. “The thought process for me was … if I ever had the opportunity to be a general manager, it was something I really wanted to do. And of course, I wanted to be on a club that won a world championship and be in a position where you could put together a very successful organization for an extended time.
“But one of the things that was always intriguing to me was to be with an expansion club and to run an expansion club. I thought the opportunity to start a franchise from the very beginning would be one of the most challenging and exciting situations that you could partake in.”
Dombrowski’s baseball career – which has also included serving as the general manager of the Montreal Expos and the GM and president of both the Florida Marlins and Detroit Tigers – would grant him the opportunity to be a part of a championship team and to build an organization from Day One.
Bob Gebhard also would get that chance – and literally was a part of both scenarios at the same time.
“I had accepted the job as the general manager of the Rockies, and one of the deals was I could stay with the Twins until the finish of their season. And that involved some advance scouting for the Twins and the rollercoaster ride through the World Series,” said Gebhard, who was named the first GM in Colorado’s history September 24, 1991, after serving as Minnesota’s assistant general manager. “We win, and (Twins GM) Andy MacPhail asked me to stay and be in the victory parade through downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. So I did that, then got on a plane and flew to Denver to start this whole thing with the Rockies. It was an exciting few days and something that was a thrill of a lifetime – to have the opportunity to start from scratch and build what you hope is going to be a world championship team.
“I remember getting picked up at the airport in Denver. I went downtown to our temporary rented offices. I went to my office, and I looked on my desk – and there were two paper clips there. I looked at them and said, ‘What in the hell have I just done?’ I left a well-oiled world championship team, and here I am with two paper clips on my desk.
“It’s something I remember, because it was the start of putting it all together. David (Dombrowski) and I were both experiencing it. We had two different directives from our owners as to how to do this. So we both went about putting our teams together to play in 1993.”
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First off, a quick history lesson.
There was a day and age when expansion clubs were expected to need a long time to cultivate and mature – since expansion was still a relatively new concept within the sport.
Major League Baseball had held firm at two eight-team leagues from 1903 through 1960. When the Dodgers and Giants moved from New York to California in 1958, though, there was talk of a rival league moving into cities that didn’t have major league teams. It forced MLB’s hand, and the decision was made to expand.
The American League went first, adding the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators for the 1961 season (the original Senators became the Minnesota Twins in 1961; the newer version of the Senators became the Texas Rangers in 1972). The National League then added two clubs for the 1962 campaign – the Houston Colt .45s (now known as the Astros) and the New York Mets.
The next round of expansion took place in 1969, with two teams added to each league. The San Diego Padres and the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals) entered the N.L., while the A.L’s new franchises were the Kansas City Royals and the Seattle Pilots (now the Milwaukee Brewers).
In 1977, the Blue Jays and Mariners began play. The sport remained at 26 teams until the summer of 1991, when MLB approved bids from groups in Denver and Miami to expand into those markets for the 1993 season (Arizona and Tampa Bay later were added as expansion teams in 1998).
During baseball’s earlier forays into expansion, there were no “Get Rich Quick” schemes. In the 1960s, there were no free agents who could come over and help a club. Even when the Blue Jays and Mariners set up shop, free agency was still in its infancy stages.
It was expected that new teams would need plenty of time in putting together sustained success. For instance:
- The expansion Senators lost 100-plus games in each of their first four years and didn’t cross the .500 mark until 1969.
- The Angels went from 70-91 in their expansion year to an impressive 86-76 mark in Year No. 2, but didn’t make the playoffs for the first time until 1979.
- The Colt .45s lost 96 games in each of their first three seasons – and 97 after changing their name to the Astros in 1965. They didn’t have their first winning season until 1972.
- The Mets went 40-120 as a first-year team and lost at least 100 games in five of their first six years. Of course, that meant nothing when they won the World Series in 1969.
Hopefully, you’re getting the picture. It’s one thing to put together an expansion team for year one; it’s another thing to expect immediate gratification.
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When Gebhard arrived in Denver, he had already started putting together some of the front office pieces; he knew he was coming into a situation in which he’d have a lean staff. Coming from Minnesota, he was used to that approach.
“Our ownership at the time was John Antonucci – who was the president and the CEO. He just said that we didn’t have money coming in and wouldn’t until we got closer to Opening Day in 1993, so just hire people as you absolutely need them,” Gebhard said. “The first thing I did right out of the chute was hire Randy Smith and Pat Daugherty. Pat was going to be the scouting director, and Randy was going to be the assistant GM.”
Smith, the son of longtime baseball executive Tal Smith, later served as general manager of the San Diego Padres and Detroit Tigers. Daugherty came over from the Montreal Expos, where he had been a scouting supervisor. Others who joined the small front office mix early on included Paul Egins (as an assistant to Daugherty) and former Mariners GM Dick Balderson, who was hired as the Rockies’ first director of player development.
“Pat Daugherty was actually in Denver at the time I got there because I was still doing work for the Twins,” Gebhard said. “When I arrived in town, his first question to me was: ‘What’s my budget to hire scouts?’
“I, in turn, went to our owner, and Mr. Antonucci told me we had a $300,000 budget for our scouting salaries. So I told Pat, and he immediately put together a list of names of people he had run into that he knew. Some were assistant coaches. Some were bird dogs. Various people.”
Daugherty had already been in the game for 20 years with Montreal prior to the start of his Rockies career.
“I remember the day … I arrived in Denver on October 15, 1991,” said Daugherty – who never left. He retired from the Rockies after the 2014 season and still makes Denver his home. “It was an exciting time, but I always told people it was something unique and great to go through – but I wouldn’t want to go through it again. It was a little bit nerve-racking.
“It was overwhelming. Where do you start? Obviously, you have to hire some personnel. We were going to get ready for the draft in what – four months? So the first thing was trying to put a staff together. I can remember Geb telling me, ‘You have $300,000 to hire a scouting staff.’ It didn’t take long for me to figure out you weren’t going to get very many people for $300,000. We ended up with 10 full-time guys. I hired a kid named Pat Jones, who is now working for Kansas City as a special assistant to Dayton Moore. I hired him for $1,000 and expenses just to cover Florida for us. So we started out with a small group – and basically an inexperienced group. For about half of them, it was their first year as scouts. Ironically, some of those kids are still with the Rockies to this day.”
With the June amateur draft just eight months away and limited information at his fingertips, Daugherty was woefully playing catch-up. Consider this was the fall of 1991; using the internet to obtain information and data was hit-or-miss. Laptop computers were new in the scouting world. Smartphones were a thing of the future.
“We were far behind,” Daugherty said. “With the new young kids that we had who had never scouted, and they had no follow lists – a list of players they would have been following from the year before – so they were starting from scratch.
“Basically, what I told those kids was that we were going to go off the Major League Scouting Bureau reports. A lot of guys were against the Bureau, but they were a lifesaver for me. At least it gave our young guys who had never scouted a heads-up on some of the kids that were in their area. Of course, I did have some guys who had some experience and had scouted before. But trying to get coverage with 10 guys, and we basically didn’t have any cross-checkers – so it was hairy to start with.
“I was new at being a scouting director, and I think that added to the confusion. We were all kind of flying blindly.”
After Daugherty hired his 10 scouts and knew he needed more help, “he came to me and asked for some additional money,” Gebhard recalled. “He had a 24-hour window to hire Herb Hippauf away from Montreal. Herb was an older scout who would mentor our younger scouts.”
“Geb did get me the extra $55,000 over that $300,000 to hire Herb Hippauf – God bless him – who has since passed on,” Daugherty said. “He was a veteran guy, and I hired him primarily to cross-check – and more importantly – to spend some time with our young scouts. To try to get them on-board with the computers and filling out reports and all those things we take for granted when we’ve been in the game for a while.
“It was kind of ironic, as I was working for Gary Hughes as a scouting supervisor in the state of Florida while Gary was in Montreal as the scouting director. And then we ended up with the expansion clubs as scouting directors with the opposite teams.”
While there was some irony there, there also was the actuality that the Marlins had more dollars and manpower to work with than the Rockies did – and Dombrowski hired a full staff almost immediately.
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Dombrowski was let go by the White Sox in 1986 and quickly went to Montreal as the Expos’ player development director. In July 1988, he was named the team’s general manager.
After three-plus years in that role with the Expos – and after an ownership change – he was recruited to serve in a similar capacity with the Marlins. He was officially named Florida’s GM on September 19, 1991 – and brought a bunch of high-ranking baseball heavyweights with him from Quebec to South Florida.
One of those heading south was veteran scouting director Gary Hughes. During his time in Montreal, Hughes’ staff was responsible for discovering, among others, Marquis Grissom, Cliff Floyd, Mark Grudzielanek, Ugueth Urbina and Delino DeShields – and the Expos were named Baseball America’s Organization of the Year in 1988 and 1990.
“We were able to get a pretty good head start on a lot of things because we were allowed to bring a lot of people over from Montreal,” Hughes said. “I think there were 12 people who were brought over before MLB said ‘Timeout. Stop.’
“After Dave left, Dan Duquette had taken over in Montreal – and he had come over from Milwaukee a couple years before that. He had his own people that he wanted to bring in, and he didn’t stop anybody from leaving who wanted to leave. Finally, MLB said ‘Wait a minute.’ Guys also left from Montreal to go to Colorado – like Pat Daugherty and (scout) Bert Holt.
“We brought a lot of guys over from Montreal, but then we picked up a lot of other very good people – like Jax Robertson, who was the scouting director in Detroit. I told him, ‘Jax, you’re going to have way more fun coming over here than you will as the scouting director there. I want you to come here to be one of our cross-checkers.’ At first, he said he couldn’t do it.
“A little later that day, I was told by Dave (Dombrowski) that Carl Barger, our president, said ‘No more scouts. We’ve got plenty.’ David asked me, ‘Are you OK with that? Do you have enough?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, we’re fine.’
“So later on that night, Jax phoned me. He said, ‘You know, I’ve been thinking about what you’ve said. I think you’re right. I’m going to come over. I’m excited.’ And I laughed and said, ‘That’s great.’ The next thing he said was, ‘I’m already starting to clean out my desk.’
“The next day we had some meetings, and I went in and told Dave, ‘You know, when I said that I was through, I lied.’ I told him the Jax story, and Dave said, ‘Oh, we gotta have him.’
“So we talked to Carl. Dave was making his pitch for Jax and said that he was the best in the business. Carl pointed at me and said, ‘I thought you told me he was.’ We got Jax. He was just one of many that we brought in.”
Dombrowski talked about the unique challenges of putting together a scouting staff from scratch – both at the amateur and the professional level. What was his thought process as he put that first scouting staff together?
“That’s a great question,” he said, “and it’s not easily answered, for the simple fact that … of course, you would say you want to get the best scouts that you possibly could. People who could evaluate talent at its best. People who were good evaluators of professional talent – not only at the major league level, but at the minor league level. That could be separate from people who were involved with scouting amateurs. But when you say that, you also have to realize that not everybody is available at that time.
“Other organizations have scouts under contract, so you have to be in a position where you go out and try to hire the best people who are available. A lot of times, it’s a situation where there were regime changes. Maybe there were people whose contracts had run out, and they were looking for new opportunities. But really getting the best personnel that would be devoted to helping you build an organization and evaluate talent for an expansion draft was really what we were looking to do.
“There were people we asked about that weren’t granted permission, which was understandable; it’s an organization’s right. But the people we did talk to … everybody was interested in joining the club and felt it was exciting to start from the very beginning. It was something … to be in a position where you can build an organization from Day One and have input into that.”
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While the Marlins had a large enough staff to separately scout for the June amateur draft and the November expansion draft, the Rockies were grinding it out with their skeleton staff.
“It was a challenging time,” Daugherty admitted. “I know it was a challenging time for some of those young kids. They were all baseball-oriented, because they had all been college assistants. It wasn’t like they weren’t around the game or totally out of the loop in so far as the game goes. But it’s quite a switch from looking at a potential college kid to looking at a potential professional player. It’s an adjustment for all of us.”
During their first two years in existence, the Rockies and Marlins were slotted in the 27th and 28th spots in the first round – so both teams were missing out on the supposed premium picks at the top of the draft. In 1992, the Rockies picked 27th; the Marlins drafted out of that spot in 1993.
Despite their many limitations, the Rockies selected 10 players in the 1992 amateur draft who would go on to see major league time – including first-round right-handed pitcher John Burke, 11th-round pick Craig Counsell (1,624 big league games), 14th-round pick Juan Acevedo (367 big league mound appearances) and 25th-round selection Quinton McCracken (999 games). In addition, second-round selection Mark Thompson and seventh-round pick Jason Bates saw action for Colorado in the 1995 Division Series – as the Rockies went to the postseason in just their third season of existence.
“Most of those guys were not household names, but to get some time in the major leagues is an accomplishment in itself,” said Daugherty. “I was extremely proud when we put that first team together in Bend, Oregon, out of that ’92 draft. I can remember what a relief and what pride I had when I looked at those kids and what we had. To see all of them in a Rockies uniform was really exciting and rewarding.
“Then to follow those kids through their Northwest League schedule – although I wasn’t there all that much – and for them to go on and play in the league championship. Those were big days for a scouting director.”
While all the amateur draft work was being done, Gebhard brought in Larry Bearnarth – Montreal’s former pitching coach – to help in preparation for the expansion draft.
“During the first half, he covered the National League and I covered the American League,” Gebhard said. “I also was involved with the amateur stuff, going to see top players that Pat felt we might have a chance to draft. At the All-Star break, we switched; I went to the National League and Larry went to the American League.
“All of my reports were hand-written. All of Larry’s were hand-written. We came up with a code where we were trying to identify the players that might be helpful to our expansion club immediately and those that would be a part of the future. What role would they play? Were they a No. 1 or No. 2 starter? Were they a closer? Were they regulars? Were they utility players? We tried to put that together as best we could.
“Once the amateur draft was over, we then took those 11 scouts we had and assigned them certain organizations to scout so we would be better prepared for the expansion draft.”
When did he sleep? “Not very often.”
The Marlins, meanwhile, took a high-risk, high-reward attitude to their first amateur draft. At the end of the day, so to speak, they went 1-for-2 after a promising start.
“The feeling was that there was no way in the world that Charles Johnson would get to us – and there was no way Charles would sign with us,” Hughes said of the 28th overall selection – who would go on to become a two-time All Star and a four-time Gold Glove Award winner. “Charles was an all-American. It was an Olympic year, too. He was on the Olympic team, which meant that he wasn’t going to sign easily – and he couldn’t sign right away.
“I remember sending Jim Hendry, who was then scouting for us, to the College World Series – which we did every year after that because of this – and told him to stay close to Johnson. ‘There’s something telling me we have some chance to get him.’ Sure enough, we got him. There was a November signing date for Olympic players only. Charles and his representative, Mr. Boras, ended up taking it down to the last second.”
It was the second time Johnson was a No. 1 pick. The Expos – and scouting director Hughes – had selected him 10th overall in the 1989 draft.
In the second round, Hughes drafted a right-handed pitcher out of Stanford named John Lynch – who went to nine NFL Pro Bowls and is now the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers.
“John Lynch was good athlete with a real good arm. He was not going to play any more football; he was going to play baseball,” Hughes said. “All that changed when Bill Walsh went back to Stanford. First, Dennis Green left Stanford to coach for the Minnesota Vikings. That left an opening for Walsh to come back – and Bill coming back was the reason John went back to football. John said to me, ‘I remember telling you I wasn’t going to play – and I wasn’t – but with the changes … I’ve always wanted to play for Bill Walsh.’ There was nothing I could do to stop him, so off he went. The rest is history.”
Hughes laughed when he talked about the way he communicated with his scouts in an era before e-mail and cell phones were in vogue.
“That whole year, the way we communicated was voicemail on an office phone line,” he recalled. “When you look back, how could we have gotten through without that? I was given a phone right after the (amateur) draft … one of those boots that you walked around with that passed for a cell phone. I carried that on me for about a month after the draft when we were signing players – so people could get ahold of me at any time. It literally looked like a shoe.
“We had rules … you had to check your voicemail at least twice a day. As the draft was getting closer, it was something like every couple hours. And it was really important to know what hotel a scout was in on the road, and his room, so you could track him down.”
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While the Rockies went with the “all hands on deck” method in terms of scouting for the expansion draft, the Marlins went all out from a manpower standpoint.
Dombrowski wasn’t just planning for 1993. He was looking at it from both a short-term and long-term perspective.
“There’s a lot involved in what we did to prepare for that first season,” Dombrowski said. “Basically, we wanted to have a representative team on the field – but it really didn’t make a great deal of difference to us if we won 64 games or 68 games or 72 games or whatever it would be. We were building for the long run.
“I had started in September 1991 as the first person in Baseball Operations. I then hired people quickly after that. The reality is we started scouting winter ball at that point when people came on board. And then, in turn, we started the next spring training and all through that year.
“The type of players we were trying to identify were players who had the most upside in the long-term. It didn’t matter if it was a positional player or a pitcher or what position they played. We were really just trying to identify people that could be part of our future.”
Both the Marlins and the Rockies would be selecting 36 players in the expansion draft. All 36 would automatically be placed on each team’s 40-man major league roster. Major league rules came into play, too. For instance, did a player have options remaining?
So there was a lot of work behind the scenes in identifying players worth pursuing.
“If you took 30 prospects in the expansion draft … well, that wouldn’t do you any good,” Dombrowski said, “because everybody you drafted had to be put on your major league roster. So you were in a position where you still had to put 25 of those 40 players on your in-season roster. But you still wanted to get the best young prospects that you could.
“Of course, organizations were able to protect their 15 top players. They were in a position where they had that choice themselves. So you weren’t going to get somebody’s top prospect by any means. You also knew in your own mind you were building for the long-term. If you could take players that in turn could be traded, that would also be helpful to you at some point. All of a sudden, if someone was involved in a pennant race in the middle of a season, you might be able to trade somebody and be in a position where you can accumulate more young players to help you for the future.
“It took a lot of work from people digging up background, looking up old press clips. Just gathering information anywhere you could. Basically, we had members of the organization that were assigned clubs … for example, we had someone assigned to the National League West, or the American League East, and the individuals that were assigned there were in a position where they had the responsibility to gather information however they could. And then we had people in our front office who would read newspapers and try to gather information, looking for any background as far as injuries and off-field issues. You tried to gather information any way you could and keep a file on that.”
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In retrospect, it’s hard to fathom that the timespan from when the two organizations hired their respective general managers – with no additional staff in place – to the day of the 1992 expansion draft was less than 14 months.
Before either team finalized draft plans, though, both GMs took a timeout to conduct managerial searches.
Florida concluded its pursuit first. On October 23, Rene Lachemann was named the Marlins’ first-ever manager. He interviewed with Dombrowski during the playoffs and was hired during the World Series.
Lachemann had previous managerial experience with Seattle (1981-1983) and Milwaukee (1984).
“My first year managing in Seattle, we were basically an expansion club; it was just a few years later than that, but a lot of it was a similar-type thing,” Lachemann said. “When I went in to interview with Dave Dombrowski and the rest of the people who were there, I was very impressed with the scouts that they had. They had gone out and got people like Gary Hughes, these top scouts in baseball. I felt that what they were going to go ahead and do – and they had been looking at players for a year – it was a situation I felt good about.
“It’s one thing in baseball … you can never get too hubris about it. I was there with Oakland and Boston, and in a period of five years, I had been to four World Series.
“I was able to bring my brother Marcel over there to be my pitching coach. That might have been one of the reasons I was able to get the job.”
Meanwhile, four days later, the Rockies announced the hiring of their own manager. Gebhard had taken a different route, selecting a first-time manager to run the club.
“One of my goals was to try and get a manager hired as soon as the regular season was over, because I wanted his input in our selections for the expansion draft,” he said. “So during that last month of the season, besides scouting, I was bearing down on who I might want to bring in for interviews to be the manager. I narrowed it down to about 35 names, then down to about 10, then eventually down to four. Out of that process, we hired Don Baylor.”
Baylor had spent 19 seasons as a big league player – earning A.L. Most Valuable Player honors in 1979 – and was on three World Series clubs (Boston 1986, Minnesota 1987), Oakland 1988).
At his introductory press conference with the local media, Baylor was quoted as saying: “I don’t know who wrote that rule that you have to lose 100 games if you’re an expansion team. We’re going to change the thinking of being an expansion team.”
Baylor didn’t just say it … he meant it. “I remember telling the players in spring training, ‘If I have to suit up and get out there, we’re not going to lose 100 games.’ It wasn’t going to happen,” he said.
With a manager in place, “we now were able to get everyone together to start talking about the draft,” Gebhard said. “We sat in a big conference room in downtown Denver and went through every team and every name and categorized it in about every way that you could.”
As Baylor recalled, “There were a bunch of names out there that were available. Who were we going to draft? Who were we thinking about obtaining? Being in that room, that was a history lesson as far as what players were available.
“I was looking for a different type of player. One that I thought would fit … maybe not my personality, but what I wanted for the Rockies. It was a new team coming in.
“I remember sitting in that room and just listening. These guys were so adamant about certain players that they could get. It was pretty intimidating – if you get intimidated. I had played in the World Series; that was intimidating enough. But when you’re trying to build your own team … that was a lot different than being a player. All of a sudden you have to go on the other side and evaluate players. It was different, really different.”
The Marlins, meanwhile, basically sequestered themselves in a Ft. Lauderdale hotel.
“In the fall of ’92, we all sat down together,” said Dombrowski, who then rattled off some of the scouts. “Frank Wren, Gary Hughes, Jim Hendry, Ken Kravec, Scott Reid. Cookie Rojas was there. John Young was there. Dick Egan was another one who was with us. I have to be careful, because I know I’m going to miss some people. It was an exceptional group of individuals that were put together for the organization.
“These people were prepared – they had their recommendations, they had worked hard – to start discussing players. It finally gave the scouts a chance to make their presentations. It was very similar, I would think, to an amateur scouting perspective of preparing for the draft, but you didn’t have this very often from the professional level … to be in a position where you scout all year long, you accumulate information, and you sit down and you make up your list for the draft. Well, that’s what we did for the expansion draft.
“It was really an exhilarating time. We made sure we spent plenty of time to do it. There were long days, but they were fun days. We wanted to make sure that they were fun but business-like. It was a time for people in the organization to mesh together and spend a lot of time together. In addition to that, we wanted to make sure that we put enough overall time in for this so that you didn’t tire your people out on a particular day. You were making such big decisions as you moved forward. You wanted to work and work hard, but also not get to the point where people were just out of gas – where you didn’t get their best thought processes as the day went on.”
As Hughes recalled, “David was all inclusive. We had so many people. If you come up with the right type of player for the Marlins, let’s get him. He wanted everybody to speak. He wanted everybody’s opinion. He felt we had good people in the room and they were experienced, and I don’t think anybody wanted to do anything to stop anyone from voicing an opinion. There was no preconceived notion of what type of player we should be looking for.”
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Major league teams were able to protect 15 players prior to the draft. In theory, in the first round of the expansion draft, both the Marlins and the Rockies would alternate in selecting who they considered to be the 16th best player on every other team’s roster.
About a week prior to the draft, the commissioner’s office provided the two teams the confidential listing of the players that each team had protected.
“Once we had that list, we started taking names off our board,” Gebhard said. “There was a mandate from major league baseball that these lists remain confidential … agents, media, nobody was supposed to get those names. Me and John McHale Jr. (who by then had become the Rockies’ vice president of baseball operations) were the only two people who looked at those lists on our side.”
The Marlins scoured the lists to see who was obtainable – and what potential wheeling-and-dealing angles might be available for them to pursue.
“When we got the actual 15-man protection list, it was easy for us to sort of sit back and say, ‘OK, this is the top-rated guy in each organization.’ And we worked off those lists,” Dombrowski said. “We were ready to go, and we were prepared to move forward.”
Both teams loaded up boxes of information and headed to the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The 1992 expansion draft was about to become a reality.
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Chuck Wasserstrom spent 25 years in the Chicago Cubs’ front office – 16 in Media Relations and nine in Baseball Operations. Now a freelance writer, his behind-the-scenes stories of his time in a big league front office can be found on www.chuckblogerstrom.com.