Dusters Build '63 Club
The question foremost on everyone's mind during the off-season was whether the Nevada Dusters would sign pitching ace -- and 1962 Cy Young Award winner -- Bob Shaw, who was eligible for free agency following the season. Shaw, whose 1962 record was 23-3, had made $1,100,000 in that year, but was asking $13,900,000. Duster GM and owner Conn Hudson, who had previously signed or released all the other players whose contracts were expiring, had a team salary of nearly $30,000,000, and ultimately was not willing to pay what Shaw was asking. Nor did he attempt to negotiate with the star hurler. "After the kind of year Bob had," Hudson told reporters, "he deserves what he's asking for. Unfortunately, this ballclub is not able to afford him."
The Dusters' starting rotation for 1963 would include Joe Horlen (16-8, 2.54), Dave McNally (11-8, 2.77) and Tony Cloninger (14-8, 3.57). It was predicted that Hudson would summon Jim Bouton from the Bakersfield Bullets, Nevada's AAA affiliate. Bouton, a righty, had gone 6-3 with a 3.17 ERA at AA Tucson before going 1-0 in five starts for the Bullets with a 2.00 ERA. According to unnamed sources in the press, the Dusters were hopeful of acquiring a fifth starter from free agency before Opening Day of 1963. If not, it was said that both Hudson and manager Ben Naylor had confidence in the ability of southpaw Pete Richert (6-4, 2.46) to fill that spot in the rotation. Nonetheless, there was a great deal of speculation about the consequences of the decision to release Shaw; would the Dusters end up regretting the move?
Nevada also signed first baseman Gordy Coleman -- the hero of Game Seven of the 1962 World Series -- to a one-year deal worth $1,500,000 as a result of arbitration won by the ballclub. Many had thought that Coleman would be let go and Donn Clendenon brought up from Bakersfield, where Clendenon had hit .349 with 7 homers and 50 RBIs. Instead, the Dusters announced that Coleman would back up Vic Power at first base and Clendenon would remain at Bakersfield, at least for part of the 1963 campaign. Coleman had hit .303 with ten homers and 31 RBIs while appearing in 101 games in 1962.
Also signed as a result of arbitration were relievers Barney Schultz (7-0, 1.57 ERA), entering into his eleventh season in the majors, and six-year veteran Bob Duliba (5-6, 4.84). Released were relief pitchers Jim Umbricht and Ken Mackenzie, along with right fielder Bubba Morton and catcher Doug Camilli.
Picking last in the Minor League Draft, the Nevada Dusters opted for southpaw reliever Tug McGraw, who had gone 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA and six saves as a high school senior in Round 1. The Round 2 pick was starter Larry Jaster, also a lefty, who was 5-2 with a 2.55 ERA in his senior year. Reliever Wayne Granger (3-1, 2.73 with 5 saves) was the Round 3 pick. These acquisitions dovetailed with the ballclub's minor league scouting reports which had stressed the importance of bringing in pitching prospects, particularly of the left-handed variety. Nevada's remaining draft picks were lefty reliever Rob Gardner, slugging outfielder Ollie Brown, and second baseman Tito Fuentes.
Bob Shaw (sp)
Jim Umbricht (rp)
Ken Mackenzie (rp)
Bubba Morton (rf)
Doug Camilli (c)
--Gordy Coleman (1b) is signed for $1,500,000/1 yr. as a result of arbitration won by Nevada. (Coleman was asking for $1,750,000)
--Barney Schultz (rp) is signed for $1,150,000/1 yr. as a result of arbitration won by Schultz. (Nevada offered $900,000)
--Bob Duliba (rp) is signed for $600,000/1 yr. as a result of arbitration won by Nevada. (Duliba was asking for $750,000)
MINOR LEAGUE DRAFT
CLUB ROUND 1 ROUND 2 ROUND 3
HOU Rusty Staub rf...Doug Rader 3b...Chris Zachary p
LAA Tom Seaver p...Dave Roberts p ...Steve Renko p
WSA Steve Carlton p...Carl Morton p...Ron Swoboda rf
NYM Rudy May p...Bud Harrelson ss...Jeremy Reed c
KCA Joe Niekro p...Fred Rico rf ...Kasey Smith c
PHI Johnny Briggs lf...Barry Lersch p ...Denny Doyle 2b
STL Bill Singer p...Ron Klimkowski p...Jim Ray p
CHC Denny McLain p...Chad Grady 1b...Seth Tomlin p
BOS Sparky Lyle p...Bob Montgomery c...Tony Horton 1b
CIN Billy McCool p...Bill Stoneman p...Ray Lamb p
CLE Steve Mingori p...Russ Nagelson rf...Tom Kelley p
CHW Roger Nelson p...Todd Brewer 3b...Jim McAndrew p
LAD Stan Bahnsen p...Jim Campanis c...Jed Tawesson p
DET Fred Scherman p...Chuck Dobson p...Rich Nye p
BAL Paul Blair cf...Frank Bertaina p...Al Severinsen p
PIT Manny Sanguillen c...Kyle Pauley rf...Frank Brousseau p
MIN Craig Nettles 3b...Pat Kelly rf...Hal Haydel p
SFG Jim Bibby p...Dick Bosman p...Cito Gaston cf
NYY Ken Tatum p...Theo Smith p...Hal King c
NEV Tug McGraw p...Larry Jaster p...Wayne Granger p
Nevada Dusters picks, Rounds 4-6:
Ollie Brown (of), Tito Fuentes (2b), Rob Gardner (rp)
MINOR LEAGUE MOVES
Mack Jones (cf) -- sent down to AAA Bakersfield Bullets from the Nevada Dusters.
Denis Menke (ss) -- brought up to AAA Bakersfield Bullets from AA Salt Lake City Saints.
Ron Herbel (rp) -- brought up to AAA Bakersfield Bullets from AA Salt Lake City Saints.
George Banks (3b) -- brought up to AA Salt Lake City Saints from A Tucson Stingers.
Gene Alley (ss) -- brought up to AA Salt Lake City Saints from A Tucson Stingers.
Jose Cardenal (of) -- brought up to AA Salt Lake City Saints from A Tucson Stingers.
Dick Kelley (sp) -- brought up to AA Salt Lake City Saints from A Tucson Stingers.
Clay Carroll (rp) -- brought up to AA Salt Lake City Saints from A Tucson Stingers.
Larry Maxie (rp) -- brought up to AA Salt Lake City Saints from A Tucson Stingers.
Bob Bailey (3b) -- brought up to A Tucson Stingers from R Montana Wolves.
Felix Millan (2b) -- brought up to A Tucson Stingers from R Montana Wolves.
Tony Perez (1b) -- brought up to A Tucson Stingers from R Montana Wolves.
Wade Blasingame (sp) -- brought up to A Tucson Stingers from R Montana Wolves.
Bruce Howard (sp) -- brought up to A Tucson Stingers from R Montana Wolves.
TOP MINOR LEAGUE PROSPECTS
Bakersfield Bullets (AAA)
Phil Niekro sp ..... Ron Herbel rp .....Donn Clendenon 1b ..... Denis Menke 2b ..... Mack Jones cf ..... Tony Oliva rf
Salt Lake City Saints (AA)
Ray Culp sp ..... Dick Kelley sp ..... Hank Fischer rp .....Clay Carroll rp .....Larry Maxie rp ..... Walt Hriniak c ..... Wes Parker 1b ..... Cookie Rojas 2b ..... George Banks 3b ..... Gene Alley ss ..... Jose Cardenal of
Tucson Stingers (A)
Wade Blasingame sp ..... Bruce Howard sp ..... Cecil Butler rp .....Herb Hippauf rp ..... Jerry Grote c .....Danny Cater 1b ..... Tony Perez 1b ..... Felix Millan 2b ..... Bob Bailey 3b ..... Roger Repoz cf ..... Jesus Alou rf
Montana Wolves (R)
Marcelino Lopez sp ..... Larry Jaster sp ..... Tug McGraw rp ..... Wayne Granger rp ..... Rob Gardner (rp) ..... Randy Hundley c ..... Sandy Alomar 2b ..... Tito Fuentes 2b ..... Ollie Brown rf