Monday, March 16, 2020

John Donaldson (#244)

John Donaldson played 6 seasons from 1966-1970, and in 1974, all for the Athletics except for playing the 2nd half of 1969 with the Seattle Pilots.

Donaldson was signed by the Twins before the 1963 season, and drafted by the Kansas City Athletics after his first season. He played in the Athletics’ farm system for the next 3 seasons, initially as a shortstop until making the switch to 2nd base in 1966.

John made his major-league debut in late-August 1966, playing 15 games over the final weeks of the season.

After starting the 1967 season in AAA, he joined the Athletics in early-June and started 100 of the final 110 games at 2nd base, pushing incumbent Dick Green over to a 3rd base rotation with Danny Cater and Sal Bando.

In 1968 he started 81 of the first 103 games at 2B, then was replaced by Green and only made 9 more starts for the rest of the season, including three at 3rd base.

Donaldson found a seat on the bench in 1969, his only start coming in the first game of a May 30th doubleheader. On June 14th he was traded to the Seattle Pilots for backup catcher Larry Haney. He returned to regular playing time with the hapless Pilots, starting 91 of the final 107 games.

In mid-May 1970, the Brewers traded him back to the Athletics for shortstop Roberto Pena. John returned to the backup role he had from mid-‘68 to mid-‘69.

Donaldson didn’t make the team in 1971, and spent the next 3 years in the minors – bouncing to the Tigers, Orioles, and Padres, but never playing for any of them.

He was released by the Padres in April 1974 and signed with the Athletics. He spent most of his final season in the minors, but did play 9 games for the Athletics in April and May, and one in October.

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