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. 

4 thoughts on “Those Montreal Expos: It Was Fun While It Lasted”

  1. DK,

    I was there when Monday gave the `Spos the boot. And the moment, although dramatic, was more or less wasted on me because I’m a dyed-in-the-wool troo bloo fair-weather fan when it comes to baseball. Okay, le grand Orange (Staub), Lee and Walker were fun and the Cubbies were always lurking in the background but only if they were winning and only in the playoffs. I went to a lot of games during the Expos’ heyday simply because a buddy of mine at the time, a french canadian luuved the game, luuved to sit on the first-base line and he always had primo tickets. Hey, the metro took you right there, beer was cheap and the Expos were a competitive and young even occasionally exciting (for baseball) team. Course, there was always the chance that a chunk of concrete might fall off and brain you but that, at least for me, was probably the most exciting part of the game. The Big O. Monumental architecture and monument to Drapeaus’ monumental ego at a monumental cost. Sure, it was impressive when you stood just outside it but … that’s all. Even worse, they ripped down a solid working-class voisinage to build the damn thing. But, hey, an awful lot of quebecers luuved their little fuhrer – he put Montreal and Quebec on the map.

  2. What’s this? I miss a smackdown between Kaners and Devil Hab? Uhhh! And now I have TWO Hab fans to piss off? Oh, man, pressure’s on.

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

    Don’t rule the idea out too soon. Just make sure if you get it, Toronto doesn’t steal it.

    Mike, horseradish in alcohol? I can’t believe we didn’t think of that first! We take alcohol with anything.

  3. LaP: Of course you do ,how else would you be able to forget Brett Hull’s foot in the crease Cup winning GOOOOAAAAL!Being a die-hard HABS fan that was BS,a rule is a rule DK & D/HAB will now put me on a hit list & will have to spend an evening with that twit Gaston.Be assured “The Boys” know how to deal with that.Gaston washed up on the shores of the Straits of Georgia !!!
    Les Canadiens Toujours !!!!

  4. I’ve got Woodie Fryman’s Jersey if anyone wants to buy it… its in great condition. He wore it. #35 for the Expos…Let me know! name a price.

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