Tag Archives: Gary Carter

Jays And Mets On Expos Turf

More than 90,000 fans packed Montreal’s Olympic Stadium this weekend to not only watch the Blue Jays and Mets in exhibition action, but to also show their love for the Expos, Gary Carter, and the 1994 team which might have won it all if it wasn’t for the players strike midway through that would ultimately and sadly cancel the World Series.

I wasn’t at the Big O this weekend, but I wish I was. When tickets went on sale last year, I still wasn’t sure if we’d be in Montreal at this time.

Bleacher seats were available in the last few days, but I didn’t want to sit in them. I was in the upper deck in left center field at the 1982 All-Star Game at the Big O and I hated it. I felt like I was watching the game from St-Hyacinthe.

Don’t forget, even great seats at this gigantic echo chamber are far away. There’s that track running around it that pushes the seats further back. And maybe the seats are on a more gradual slope than other parks, I’m not sure. Seems like it though.

This isn’t the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

So I didn’t go this weekend and I regret it. But seeing clips on TV of that spotty field again reminded me of how much I despised that ballpark.

Below is an Expos reply from 1987 when I was looking for tickets. I went often when I was living in Ottawa.

I loved the Expos, as so many did, and maybe they’ll come back. I sure hope so.

But guaranteed it won’t be the Big O they come back to.

Expos 1

Expos 2

Habs Sleep For Half, Sort Of Play For Half

A game needed, a game lost. The Canadiens fall 3-1 to the New Jersey Devils, and once again, for too many nights to fathom, not everyone wearing the CH seemed to give their all. The hole the boys are sinking into is inching closer to China.

The New Jersey Devils, for the most part, threw a big, thick, damp, heavy blanket over the Canadiens, which is what the Devils do, and it was only after half of the game had been played that the Habs began to get shots, began to put pressure on, and began to find themselves with scoring chances. But it was never enough. New Jersey was just too disciplined, too workmanlike, and as usual, it makes for boring hockey but often successful for this team, and Montreal needed, but couldn’t, find a way to find a crucial crack in the armour.

It’s very disappointing and very frustrating, and once again we didn’t see everyone show up and play their rich little hearts out. Guys like Kostitsyn and Eller and Bourque can be as ineffective as can be, and of course it was too much to ask of Scott Gomez to play above and beyond as he did the other night. It was peace and love for Gomez for 24 hours – now things are back to normal. It was just expecting too much I guess.

And then there’s Kaberle and Campoli…….

I should have learned a long time ago not to get my hopes up too high. Not with this bunch. They win, they lose, they look good, they stink, they play with heart, they come out flat. It’s just too hard for my little pea brain to comprehend.

Random Notes:

Montreal managed just four shots in the first period, at a time when you’d expect them to be breathing fire. Tell me how that could be. Is there a lack of leadership? Is it because there’s no Mark Messier-type to look you in the eyes and say you’d better not float, without even really having to say it?

I ask myself this often. Do we not have enough forceful leaders to will everyone around them to give their all and bust their balls? It just doesn’t seem like it. So to me, it’s more than just not playing well. It’s the lack of fortitude and strength and burning desire to fight through traps and whatever else is thrown at them, and simply do what has to be done.

Another disappointing night in a season of disappointments. Fours shots in the first period is as inexcusable as it gets and they don’t deserve to somehow find their way magically up the ladder.

Even the Erik Cole, Max Pacioretty, David Desharnais line smoldered instead of blazed. At this time of year, if injuries can be kept quiet, they are. And it’s what might be the case with Erik Cole right now.

Next up – Tuesday, when Dallas pays a visit.

There was a heart-wrenching tribute to Gary Carter before the game, and I don’t mind admitting that I got a huge lump in my throat when Youppi came out in his Expos shirt and hat. For those possibly unaware, Youppi was the Expos mascot for years, and only joined the Canadiens after the Expos so sadly left town

 

Gary Carter Loses Battle

Above are ticket stubs from times I saw Gary Carter play when he was a Montreal Expo. I’ve always loved baseball and was a big Expos fan, and I remember and miss those days when Carter was catching for them and gunning out runners at second and nailing guys napping at first base.

He was an Expo for 12 years ending in 1984, (he became a Met the following season), and he ran the show from behind the plate, was an outgoing leader, and he could hit the long ball. And on top of his baseball talents, he was friendly, had that big smile in interviews and curly hair that I’m sure the ladies loved, and he embraced the city of Montreal.

It’s sad to lose a hero, a man I associate with a nice time in my life, when my kids were young, I had more hair, the Expos were coming close, and my first wife still liked me. Yes, those were the days.

Gary Carter passed away on Thursday from brain cancer. He was just 57.

 

Those Montreal Expos: It Was Fun While It Lasted

I miss the Expos.

 

I miss Warren Cromartie and Tim Raines and Tim Wallach and Steve Rogers.

 

During the 198o’s, I almost followed every pitch. The Expos were one of baseball’s best teams, and for a nice stretch during these times, they were always in the thick of it come September.

 

I listened to Dave Van Horne and Duke Snider on my truck radio as I drove here and there out of Ottawa. And I watched as Rick Monday’s home run spoiled the Expos chances of advancing to the World Series that September of 1981 which became known as Blue Monday. 

 

There was Andre Dawson, Ellis Valentine, Chris Speier, Scott Sanderson. And of course a great catcher and a man who loved the limelight, Gary Carter.

 

I miss Rodney Scott, Larry Parrish, Dick Williams, Woody Fryman, Bill (Spaceman) Lee.

 

But the Expos are now the Washington Nationals, and I pay absolutely no attention to them at all. The Expos are gone. End of story.

 

And or me, the real reason the Expos aren’t in Montreal anymore is because the Big O was a ghastly place, a giant orange cave that echoed and swallowed you up. The seats were set in on a gradual slope, so even though you might be only 20 rows up, it seemed like you were a mile away.

The track that was used in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal surrounded the playing field, so it created not only a lousy un-baseball-like atmosphere, but also made it that many more feet from the stands, even, I think, from the dugouts.

So no one went. Most games were far from sellouts because the atmosphere wasn’t worth the hassle of driving there and parking. Attendance was dismal in Montreal, and Expos owners lobbied the city to build a nice baseball stadium downtown, (Olympic Stadium was way out in the east end), but were denied, and the next thing you know, they were gone.

 

I suppose Montreal will never see another major league team because usually, once you lose it, your chances are gone.

 

But we had them for awhile, and they sure were good.