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Montreal Expos
MontrealExpos 1000.png
Founded: 1969 (Expansion Team)
Relocated: December 3, 2004 (to Washington, D.C.)

Jarry Park, Montreal (1969–1976)
Olympic Stadium, Montreal (1977–2004)
Hiram Bithorn Stadium (San Juan, Puerto Rico) (2003-2004)

Uniform Colours: blue, red, and white
Logo Design: A stylized "M" for Montreal, also forming a red "e" for Expos, and a blue "b" for baseball, coming together as "Montreal Expos Baseball.".
Mascot: Souki (1978), Youppi! (1979-2004) [1]
Theme Song: Les Expos sont là (literally: "The Expos are there") by Marc Gélinas
Division Titles won: 1981
National League Championships: None
World Series Championships: None
Geographical Rival: New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies (Toronto Blue Jays in interleague)

The Montreal Expos (French: Les Expos de Montréal) were a Major League Baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from 1969 until 2004. After the 2004 season, the franchise was relocated by Major League Baseball, its owners since 2002, to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals. The Nationals retained a portion of the Expos' records, player contracts, and minor league affiliates, as well as their spring training complex in Viera, Florida.

Franchise history

Creation of the franchise

In 1960 Montreal lost its International League team, the Montreal Royals (an affiliate of the former Brooklyn Dodgers). The move to get a new team for the city was the result of the seven-year-long effort of councilman Jerry Snyder of Snowdon. On December 2, 1967 he presented a bid for a Montreal franchise to Major League Baseball's team owners that was accepted on May 27, 1968. [2] After prominent Montreal businessman Jean-Louis Lévesque withdrew his support, Snyder convinced Charles Bronfman, a major shareholder in the world-wide Seagram distilling empire, to lend his considerable weight to the project and provide the funding guarantees required. Bronfman purchased the majority of the shares and was Chairman of the Board of Directors. The other investors and founding directors included Vice-Chairmen Lorne Webster and Paul Beaudry, plus Sidney Maislin, Hugh G. Hallward, Charlemagne Beaudry (Paul's brother), and team President and Executive Director, John McHale.[1]

The Expos had to overcome another obstacle before they could take the field: they had to find a home ballpark. Delorimier Stadium, the former home of the Montreal Royals, was rejected as too small, even for temporary use. Team officials initially settled on the Autostade, but city officials balked at the cost of adding a dome (thought necessary because of Montreal's often cold temperatures in April and September) and 12,000 seats. By August 1968, the league was threatening to withdraw the franchise. National League president Warren Giles and Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau visited Jarry Park, a 3,000-seat ballfield in the city's northwest corner, and decided that it could be a suitable temporary facility. Within six months, the park was transformed into a 28,500-seat makeshift facility, saving the franchise.

Social impact of the Expos

Montreal in the 1960s was seeing its international profile being raised considerably. The 1967 World's Fair, called Expo 67 was a success, and the city soon won the bid for the 1976 Summer Olympics. The city also opened a new subway system, the Montreal Metro. This string of achievements was capped by the winning of one of the four expansion franchises awarded by Major League Baseball for 1969.[2]

The Montreal Expos were the first franchise awarded to a Canadian city by a major league organization originating in the United States. It was considered a huge step for the city of Montreal, the province of Quebec, the nation of Canada, and Major League Baseball. Montreal hosted the World's Fair the previous year and with their own Major League Baseball team the city really put itself on the map. The Expos inspired MLB to add a second Canadian team, the Toronto Blue Jays, in 1977.

The early years

The Expos won their first game, against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium, beating the Mets by a score of 11-10. The Expos took the field for the first time with Bob Bailey playing first base, Gary Sutherland playing second base, Maury Wills playing shortstop, Coco Laboy playing third base, Mack Jones playing left field, Don Hahn playing centerfield, Rusty Staub playing right field, John Bateman at catcher and Mudcat Grant on the mound. The first manager was former Philadelphia Phillies manager Gene Mauch.

The first game at Jarry Park was played on April 14—an 8-7 Expos win, broadcast nationwide on CBC television and radio. Jarry was only intended as a three-year temporary facility until what became Olympic Stadium could be completed. However, a strike delayed the Expos' first game there until 1977. The Expos had to postpone several early and late-season games during their first seven seasons because Jarry was completely exposed to the elements. On several occasions, MLB threatened to yank the franchise due to the construction delays.

After 10 straight losing seasons under Mauch (1969–75), Karl Kuehl and Charlie Fox (1976) and Dick Williams (1977-78), in 1979 under Williams the Expos posted a 95-65 record — the first of five consecutive winning seasons, and their best record for any complete season in Montreal franchise history — and finished in second place in the NL East.

Promise of the 80s

The Expos made their only postseason appearance in Montreal franchise history during the split season of 1981. In the 1981 playoffs, the Expos defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 in the divisional series, but lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 in the National League Championship Series, on a game postponed from Sunday to Monday afternoon due to rain. The difference in the game was a ninth inning home run by Los Angeles Dodgers Rick Monday. The game has since been referred to as Blue Monday.

Montreal was led through the 1980s by a core group of young players, including catcher Gary Carter, outfielders Tim Raines and Andre Dawson, third baseman Tim Wallach and pitchers Steve Rogers and Bill Gullickson. Attendance at Olympic Stadium went up each year from 1979 to 1983 (excluding the strike year in 1981),[3] and the fans would express their excitement in song — the "The Happy Wanderer" being a fan favourite after offensive explosions.[4] In spite of the team's promise, the Expos were unable to finish above third place from 1982 to 1991. They had up-and-down years, with a winning percentage of .484 in 1984 under managers Bill Virdon and Jim Fanning and 1986 under Buck Rodgers, but above .500 seasons in 1985, 1987, and 1990 under Rodgers.

Gary Carter was traded to the New York Mets on December 10, 1984, for Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham, and Floyd Youmans.[5] Andre Dawson left as a free agent after the 1986 season.[6] Tim Raines was traded to the Chicago White Sox on December 23, 1990, in a five-player deal that brought Ivan Calderon to Montreal.[7]

Under new ownership

As baseball salaries escalated, Charles Bronfman decided to sell the Expos. On June 14, 1991, Claude Brochu, the team's President and Chief Operating Officer since September 4, 1986, became the managing general partner of a consortium of 14 owners, which also included BCE, Canadian Pacific, the City of Montreal, Nesbitt Burns, and Univa (Provigo).[8]

After a 20-29 start in 1991,[9] general manager David Dombrowski (who had inherited manager Buck Rodgers upon assuming the GM position in 1988)[10] fired Rodgers and replaced him with Tom Runnells, who completed the season with a record of 51-61 for an overall winning percentage of .441.[11] Runnells switched third baseman Tim Wallach to first base, a move unpopular with the Montreal fans. The most notable highlight of 1991 was the perfect game thrown by Expos pitcher Dennis Martinez against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 28, 1991.

On September 18, 1991, Dombrowski left Montreal to become the general manager for the Florida Marlins expansion franchise,[12] and Dan Duquette became the Expos general manager.[10]

At spring training in 1992, Runnells held a meeting while dressed in combat fatigues, giving the team's pre-season training the appearance of a boot camp. The team failed to respond to Runnells's attempt at humour, and Runnells was fired on May 22, with a 17-20 record.[13]

Felipe Alou, a long time member of the Expos organization since 1976, was promoted from bench coach to field manager, becoming the first Dominican-born manager in MLB history. Alou promptly returned Wallach to the third base position. Alou led the team to a 70-55 record, for an overall winning percentage of .537.[8] Under Alou, Montreal had winning records from 1992 to 1996, with the exception of 1995. The Expos finished second in the National League East in 1992 and 1993.[3]

In January, 1994, Dan Duquette left the Montreal Expos for his dream job, general manager of the Boston Red Sox. Kevin Malone, the Expos director of scouting, took over as Montreal's GM.[14]

The 1994 season: hope and disappointment

1994 proved to be heartbreaking for the Expos. With an excellent group of players, including outfielders Larry Walker, Moisés Alou, and Marquis Grissom and pitchers Ken Hill, John Wetteland, and a young Pedro Martínez, the Expos had the best record in Major League Baseball, 74–40 when the players' strike forced the end of the season on August 12, 1994. They were six games ahead of the second place Atlanta Braves and were on pace to win 105 games.

The strike hurt the team's campaign for a new stadium, and the local ownership did not choose to invest additional funds to retain the best players on the team.

The final decade

In 1995, Claude Brochu instructed general manager Kevin Malone to release the team's major stars. Larry Walker left as a free agent, and as the Expos had not offered him salary arbitration, they did not receive any compensation for Walker's departure. John Wetteland was traded to the New York Yankees, Ken Hill to the St. Louis Cardinals, and Marquis Grissom to the Atlanta Braves.[8] Many of the leading players said, in retrospect, that they would have been willing to take pay-cuts in order to return in 1995 and compete once again for the World Series. [citation needed] On ESPN, Larry Walker asked rhetorically, "I was willing to take a cut to keep the team together, but I was never offered a contract. Where did the money go? We may never know." [citation needed]

The major overhaul after the 1994 season damaged the franchise and disheartened its fan base. Kevin Malone resigned as general manager in October, 1995, saying "I'm in the building business, not in the dismantling business."[15] Moisés Alou and Mel Rojas left as free agents after the 1996 season,[16] and Pedro Martinez was traded after the 1997 season, shortly after winning the Cy Young Award.[17]

The Expos had losing seasons until 2002, except for 1996, when the team finished second with a .543 winning percentage. In 2002 and 2003, the team finished with identical .512 records. After losing superstar Vladimir Guerrero to free agency, the Expos finished 2004, the team's final year in Montreal, with a 67–95 record.

In 1998, the Régie des installations Olympiques replaced Olympic Stadium's orange retractable roof with a permanent blue roof.[18] The retractable roof was removed after the Expos homestand ending on May 10, and on May 21, the Expos played their first outdoor home game since September 8, 1991.[19] During this time when Olympic Stadium was once again an open-air park, Rondell White became the only person to hit a ball out of Olympic Stadium — White hit a foul ball out of the third-base side of the stadium, during a game against the New York Yankees.

Purchase by Jeffery Loria

On December 9, 1999, American art dealer Jeffrey Loria became the Expos' chairman, CEO, and managing general partner.[20] Loria made his initial splash by signing Graeme Lloyd for $3,000,000,[21] and acquiring Hideki Irabu's $4,125,000 contract[22] and Lee Stevens's $3,500,000 contract[23] in trades.[20] The total sum of these contracts was nearly 50% of the 1999 payroll.[24]

However, Loria lost a considerable amount of goodwill when he failed to sign television and English radio broadcast contracts for the 2000 season, as the team tried to increase their revenue from the broadcast rights.[25]

During the 2000 season, Loria modified the existing plans for a new ballpark in downtown Montreal (which was to be called Labatt Park), demanding more public funding. However, the municipal and provincial governments vetoed public funding; Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard said that he couldn't in good conscience allow public funding for a new stadium when the province was being forced to close hospitals. In addition, Olympic Stadium still hadn't been paid for (and wouldn't be paid for until 2006). As a result, the plans for the proposed downtown ballpark fell through.[25]

Attendance in the 2001 season dropped to fewer than 10,000 per game, and consequently the future of the franchise in Montreal was called into question. On November 7, 2001, Commissioner Bud Selig announced that Major League Baseball would undergo a contraction of two teams, after a 28–2 vote by the owners. Montreal was one of the dissenting franchises.

Purchase by Major League Baseball

In February 2002 the owners agreed to eliminate the franchise along with the Minnesota Twins. That month, after a 30–0 vote, Major League Baseball formed a Delaware partnership (Expos Baseball, LP) to buy the Expos for US$120,000,000 from Loria. Loria then bought the Florida Marlins from John W. Henry, who had joined a partnership to purchase the Boston Red Sox.[26] The Loria-Henry deal was approved even before Loria and Henry had a signed contract.[27] Loria moved the entire Expos' management and coaching staff, including manager Jeff Torborg, to the Marlins — leaving the Expos without personnel or scouting reports. Without a viable owner willing to operate the team in Montreal, the Expos were on a path to be contracted or moved.

Legal maneuvers, however, prevented the Twins from being shuttered. As it was impossible to contract the Expos alone (which would have left an odd number of teams in MLB) without significantly changing the number of games in a season, the Expos got a temporary reprieve.

On August 30, 2002, MLB signed a collective bargaining agreement with the players association, which prohibited contraction through the end of the agreement in 2006.[28] Major League Baseball named Frank Robinson manager and Omar Minaya as vice-president and general manager. MLB got a new FieldTurf surface to replace Olympic Stadium's aging AstroTurf, but only leased it for one year with an option for a second — signaling that it intended to move the Expos as soon as possible.

Although their attendance increased from 7,935 per game in 2001[29] to 10,031 in 2002,[30] MLB decided that the Expos would play 22 of their home games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2003. Despite being a considerably smaller facility (it seats approximately 19,000) than Montreal's Olympic Stadium, attendance in San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium averaged 14,222, compared with 12,081 in Montreal.[3] The Puerto Rican baseball fans embraced "Los Expos" (particularly Puerto Rican players Jose Vidro, Javier Vazquez and Wil Cordero, and other Latin players like Vladimir Guerrero and Livan Hernandez) as their home team (as well as the Latin players from other teams), all the while hoping the team would make a permanent move to Puerto Rico. Expos players held clinics and made personal appearances on behalf of the team in Puerto Rico [citation needed]. Thanks in part to the San Juan games, the Expos were able to draw over a million fans at home in 2003 for the first time since 1997.[3] The Expos' season in Puerto Rico was chronicled in the MLB-produced DVD Boricua Beisbol - Passion of Puerto Rico.

Led by Vladimir Guerrero, the 2003 Expos were part of a spirited seven-team Wild Card hunt. On August 28, they found themselves in a five-way tie for the lead with Philadelphia, Florida, St. Louis, and Houston. However, MLB, led by Bud Selig, in what ESPN's Peter Gammons called "a conflict of interest," decided that it could not afford an extra $50,000 to call up players from its minor leagues to take advantage of MLB's expanded roster limit during September. The budget was some $35 million. This doomed any hopes of reviving the franchise. Minaya later said, "Baseball handed down a decree.” They would not be allowed to call up players from the minors on September 1, as it was deemed too expensive. They would have to make do with what they had. "It was a message to the players," Minaya said. "It was a momentum killer." He also stated: "They're a tough group of guys. You cannot ever forget 2003; they were as good as the Marlins, who won the World Series. But nobody knows this because nobody saw Montreal in 2003. What killed us was not getting the call-ups."[3]

Orlando Cabrera, who had been the Expos' shortstop, cited that development as a reason he didn't want to remain with the team. [4]

Fan attendance dropped off, and the Expos went 12–15, finishing eight games out of the Wild Card.

The final season

The Players' Union initially rejected continuing the San Juan arrangement for the 2004 season, but later relented. Meanwhile, MLB actively looked for a relocation site. Some of the choices included Washington, D.C.; San Juan; Monterrey, Mexico; Portland, Oregon; New Jersey; Northern Virginia; and Norfolk, Virginia. During the decision-making process, Selig added Las Vegas, Nevada, to the list of potential Expos homes. In addition, the Washington Post reported that prior to the move, Major League Baseball was negotiating with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. [citation needed]

On September 29, 2004, MLB officially announced that the Expos franchise would move to Washington, D.C. for 2005. Later that night, the Expos played their last game in Montreal, a 9-1 loss to the Florida Marlins before a season-high crowd of 31,395 fans.[31] Although the team had worried about fan reaction, negative incidents were relatively mild: in the top of the third inning, golf balls were thrown onto the field, and the Expos players left the field at 8:01 for eight minutes, returning after the public address announcer warned the crowd of MLB's rule on forfeiting a game due to fan interference.[32] At 9:11, another golf ball was thrown from the left field bleachers, resulting in another warning being displayed on the scoreboard.[31]

The fans gave standing ovations to team stars Tony Batista, Brad Wilkerson, and Livan Hernandez, and applauded loudly up until the final out. After the game, thanks were given to the crowd by Claude Raymond in French, Jamey Carroll in English, and Hernandez in Spanish.[31][33]

On November 15, 2004, arbitrators struck down a lawsuit by the former team owners against MLB and former majority owner Jeffrey Loria, ending the legal fight to keep the Expos in Montreal. The MLB owners approved the move to Washington in a 28–1 vote on December 3. Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos cast the sole "nay" vote, resenting the franchise's relocation and intrusion into the Baltimore/D.C. market.

The Expos played their final game on October 3, 2004 at Shea Stadium, losing to the New York Mets by a score of 8-1. The Expos' run came to an end against the same team it began against, 35 years earlier.

For the history of the franchise after its move to Washington, see Washington Nationals.

Historic games

  • April 17, 1969 - In just the franchise's ninth game in existence, Bill Stoneman pitched a 7–0 no-hitter while striking out 8 batters against the Philadelphia Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium. Johnny Briggs made the final out for the Phillies. Le Grande Orange Rusty Staub was the hitting hero for the Expos going 4 for 5 with three doubles and a homer. A crowd of 6,496 were on hand to see it in Philadelphia.
  • On October 2, 1972 - Bill Stoneman pitched his second career no-hitter (the final score of this one was also 7–0) in the first game of a doubleheader against the New York Mets at Olympic Stadium. The no-hitter was the first ever pitched outside the United States. Future broadcaster Tim McCarver was Stoney's catcher.
  • April 21, 1976 - Shortstop Tim Foli (hitting in the number seven slot) hits for the cycle at Wrigley Field in Chicago in front of a crowd of 7,277. Tim is the first in Expos history to hit for the cycle. Pitcher Woodie Fryman picks up the victory.
  • April 15 1977 - The Expos set a personal attendance record for a regular season game as 57, 592 fans attend the first game at Olympic Stadium. They were defeated 7 to 2 by the Phillies. Greg Luzinski of the Phils and Ellis Valentine of the Spos hit homers in the second inning, the first home runs at the Expos new home.
  • July 20, 1978 - Shorstop Chris Speier (hitting in the number eight slot) hits for the cycle at Olympic Stadium in Montreal in front of a crowd of 14,108. Speier is the second in Expos history to hit for the cycle. Pitcher Woodie Fryman picks up the victory (again).
  • July 30, 1978 - The Expos set a team record (never-broken) in hits in a game when they pick up 28 as they beat the Atlanta Braves by a score of 19 to nothing. Andre Dawson, Larry Parrish, and Gary Carter lead the way with 4 hits each. A crowd of 10,834 on hand at Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium. Pitcher Woodie Fryman picks up the victory (again).
  • May 10, 1981 - Charlie Lea pitched a no hitter against the San Francisco Giants, deafeting them 4-0 at Olympic Stadium. The last out was recorded by Andre Dawson in center field. Lea would go on to shut out the Giants again a week later on four hits in San Fransico for good measure.
  • October 11 1981 - Steve Rogers defeats Steve Carlton of the Phillies 3-0 in a pitchers duel to win the National League Division Series. Rogers drove in two of the three Expos runs to boot singling home Larry Parrish and Chris Speier in the fifth inning. The Expos advance to play the Dodgers who defeated the Astros. Rogers previously defeated Carlton in game one of the series as well.
  • October 19, 1981 - Blue Monday. In the decisive Game 5 of their only National League Championship Series, the Expos were defeated at home, 2-1, by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tim Raines opened the bottom of the first with a double against Cy Young Award-winning rookie sensation Fernando Valenzuela and scored on an Andre Dawson double play ball. Valenzuela held the Expos scoreless the rest of the way, however, and the Dodgers tied the game at 1 in the top of the fifth with two hits, a wild pitch and an RBI ground out off Expo starter Ray Burris. The teams remained tied until the top of the ninth, when Expo manager Jim Fanning made a risky decision to relieve Burris with Game 3 winner Steve Rogers. Struggling closer Jeff Reardon was throwing alongside Rogers in the bullpen at the time, but Fanning elected to summon his ace. Rogers retired Steve Garvey and Ron Cey in order, but outfielder Rick Monday homered to put Los Angeles ahead, 2-1, and crush the Expos' hopes of advancing to the World Series. Two-out walks from Gary Carter and Larry Parrish were all that the Expos could muster in the 9th, as Bob Welch preserved the one-run Dodger victory. The Expos lost the NLCS, 3-2, and never returned to the postseason.
  • August 16, 1987 - Tim Raines hits for the cycle in a 10-7 victory over the Pirates of Pittsburgh going five-for-five in the process at Olympic Stadium. A crowd of 26,134 were on hand to see it in Montreal.
  • August 23, 1989 - The Expos and Dodgers engage in a 22 inning marathon, the longest game in Expos history. It eventually ended when Rick Dempsey homered for the Dodgers in the top half of the 22nd innings off Dennis Martinez in a very rare relief performance. Rex Hudler would be caught stealing second in the bottom half of the 22nd to end the game. The game would have ended earlier when Shya Finestone,the Expo scored from third on a sacrifice fly. The Dodger's appeal, that the runner left the base too soon, was recognized by the third base umpire and the third out was recorded. The game also marked the first time a mascot was ejected by an umpire. Youppi! dressed in a nightgown and nightcap pretended to go to sleep on top of the Dodgers dugout, former Montreal Royals reliever and then coach of the Dodgers Tommy Lasorda demanded that Youppi! be run from the game. In the end the game took over 6 hours to finish and ended close to 2:00 am.
  • July 26, 1991 - Mark Gardner pitched 9 innings of no-hit baseball against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. It was tied at nothing-all in the tenth; however, versatile utility man Lenny Harris singled for the Dodgers breaking it up.
  • September 17, 1993 - One of the most exciting pennant races in team history begins, as the Expos (85 wins, 62 losses, and 1 tie) play their final series against their division rival Phillies (89 wins, 58 losses). The Expos rally back to take an 8 to 7 victory in front of 45,757 hometown fans at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. The clutch hitting hero was a hearing disabled rookie named Curtis Pride who in his first major league at-bat doubled home two runners and scored on the following play. After the game Pride said he couldn't hear the ovation but he could feel the vibration of the 45,757 Expos fans. The Expos would finish the season 94-68 but unfortunately three games out of first place.
  • June 3, 1995 - Pedro Martínez pitched 9 perfect innings against the San Diego Padres before giving up a hit in the 10th to notorious Expo-Killer Bip Roberts over the head of Tony Tarasco in center field. He became the second pitcher in history, after Harvey Haddix, to have a perfect game broken up in extra innings.
  • June 11, 1995 - Rondell White gets crazy up in Candlestick Park in San Francisco. White picks up 6 hits and hits for the cycle. A crowd of 22,392 on hand.
  • May 7, 1997 - The Expos set a team record (never broken) in runs scored in one inning as they score 13 runs off of Julian Tavarez, Jim Poole, and Joe Roa of the San Francisco Giants at 3Com Park. The Expos would go on to defeat the Giants 19 to 3. The only non-pitcher on the Expos to not register a hit was Sherman Obando who went 0 for 1. A young man named Vladimir Guerrero hit his first career double and was struck by his second career pitch. A crowd of 9,958 at hand to witness it in San Francisco.
  • September 27, 1998 - Mark McGwire faced off against the Montreal Expos in the final game of the season. McGwire would finish the season with 70 Home Runs. In the third inning, McGwire hit a home run off of Mike Thurman, and in the seventh inning, he got number 70 off of Carl Pavano.
  • July 18, 1999 - The Expos lost 6-0 to the New York Yankees, which was also pitcher David Cone's perfect game.
  • April 6, 2001 - In an era where the only bright spot for Expos fans was Vladdy, another bright spot emerges as hero Tim Raines returns to Montreal for one last hurrah. In Rock's first at-bat back at the Big O he drew a walk off Glendon Rusch. Throughout the whole at-bat every Expo fan at the stadium stood and clapped for Timmy...all 45,183 of them.
  • August 26, 2003 - The Expos rallied from twice large deficit to claim a 14-10 win against the Philadelphia Phillies and put in within two games of the National League Wild Card. It was the second biggest comeback in Expos history.
  • September 29, 2004 - Hours after the announcement of the impending move to Washington DC, the Expos played their final game in Montreal, a 9–1 loss to the Florida Marlins before 31,395 fans at Olympic Stadium.
  • October 2, 2004 - The Expos earned their last win in franchise history, defeating the New York Mets 6–3. Brad Wilkerson hit the last home run in Expos history in the ninth inning, his 32nd of the year.
  • October 3, 2004 - The New York Mets defeated Montreal 8–1 at Shea Stadium, in the final game of the franchise's existence as the Montreal Expos. Jamey Carroll scored the last Expos run and Endy Chávez became the final Expo batter in history when he grounded out in the top of the ninth to end the game. Coincidentally, Shea Stadium was where the Expos had played their first-ever game, in 1969.

Longest Home Runs

Willie Stargell hit the longest home run at Olympic Stadium on May 20, 1978, driving the ball into the second deck in right field for an estimated distance of 535 feet. A yellow seat now marks the location where the ball landed.[3] Stargell also hit a notable home run at the Expos's original Montreal home, Jarry Park, which landed in a swimming pool beyond the right field fence.[34]

On April 4, 1988, the Expos Opening Day, Darryl Strawberry hit a ball off a speaker which hangs off a cement ring at Olympic Stadium, estimated to have traveled 525 feet.[3]

"Oh Henry" Rodriguez hit a ball on June 15, 1997, that bounced off the cement ring in right field, caromed up to hit the roof, and came down, hitting a speaker. The distance traveled by this ball is also estimated at 525 feet.[3]

The longest home run hit to left field was Vladimir Guerrero's blast on July 28, 2003, that hit an advertising sign directly below the left field upper deck. The ad was later replaced with a sign reading "VLAD 502".[3]

Baseball Hall of Famers

Gary Carter is the only member of the Baseball Hall of Fame who is depicted with an Expos cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.

Frank Robinson was elected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) in 1982. On October 4, 1974, Robinson became Major League Baseball's first African-American manager when he assumed the reins of the Cleveland Indians,[29] and he was the first African-American to manage in both the American and National Leagues.

Retired numbers

File:200px-4442 3.jpg

Canadiens Raising the Expos Retired Numbers

Other than #42, the Washington Nationals did not keep these numbers retired after the franchise moved in 2004. On October 18, 2005, the Montreal Canadiens honoured the departed team by raising an Expos commemorative banner, which lists the retired numbers, to the rafters of the Bell Centre.


National League Eastern Division Champions
Preceded by:
Philadelphia Phillies
1981 Succeeded by:
St. Louis Cardinals

Some notable broadcasters

Main article: List of Montreal Expos broadcasters
  • Jacques Doucet (1969–2004)
  • Jean-Pierre Roy (1968–1984)
  • Claude Raymond (1972–2001)
  • Dave Van Horne (1969–2000) - continued with the Florida Marlins
  • Joe Cannon (1997–2000)- Dave Van Horne's Radio color commentator
  • Don Drysdale (1970–1971)
  • Duke Snider (1973–1986)
  • Tom Cheek (1974–1976)
  • Tommy Hutton (1982–1986)
  • Ken Singleton (1985–1996) - continued with the New York Yankees
  • Jim Hughson (1987–1989) - continued with the Toronto Blue Jays
  • Jim Fanning (1987–1988)
  • Rob Faulds (1987) - continued with the Toronto Blue Jays
  • Jerry Trupiano (1989–1990) - continued with the Boston Red Sox
  • Bobby Winkles (1989–1993)
  • Elliott Price (1990–1999, 2001–2004) - could not continue as radio broadcaster when the team moved to Washington, D.C., partly because immigration and visa issues prevented him coming to the United States. He now works for the TEAM 990, a Montreal sports radio station.
  • Denis Casavant (1986–1990 with CKAC, 1990–2001, 2004 with RDS)
  • Pierre Arsenault (1991) - became a coach with the Florida Marlins
  • Gary Carter (1997–1999)
  • Mitch Melnick (2003–2004)
  • Sam Cosentino (2004)
  • Rance Mulliniks (2004) - continued with the Toronto Blue Jays
  • Darrin Fletcher (2004) - continued with the Toronto Blue Jays
  • Warren Cromartie (2004)
  • Roberto Clemente, Jr. (2004)
  • Jim Tocco (2004)
File:Au revoir.jpg

An Expos jersey and cap lain in tribute

See also


  1. History of the Expos at the Major League Baseball Official website. Retrieved on 2006-11-04.
  2. "Washington Nationals". Baseball Almanac Online.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Montreal Expos (2004). Expos Media Guide 2004.
  4. The Sports Network. Au Revoir Expos: Farewell to Montreal. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
  5. Sports Reference, Inc. (2007). Gary Carter statistics. Retrieved on 2007-10-29.
  6. Sports Reference, Inc. (2007). Andre Dawson statistics. Retrieved on 2007-10-29.
  7. Sports Reference, Inc. (2007). Tim Raines statistics. Retrieved on 2007-10-29.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Montreal Expos (1996). Expos Media Guide 1996.
  9. Buck Rodgers Managerial Record. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Baseball America. Executive Database: Franchise: Washington Nationals. Baseball America. Retrieved on 2007-09-08.
  11. Tom Runnells Managerial Record. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
  12. MLB Advanced Media. History: Marlins Timeline. Retrieved on 2007-09-08.
  13. James, Bill (1997). The Bill James guide to baseball managers: from 1870 to today. New York, New York: Scribner, 352.
  14. The New York Times (1994-01-27). Duquette to Be Red Sox General Manager. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-09-08.
  15. The New York Times (1995-10-03). Expos' G.M. Decides to Go. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-09-08.
  16. Montreal Expos (1997). Expos Media Guide 1997.
  17. Montreal Expos (1998). Expos Media Guide 1998.
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External links

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