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.