Before the Washington Nationals won a World Series or even became a franchise, their past incarnation saw them as the Montreal Expos. Forming in 1969 and ending in 2004, there was a time where Canada had two major league baseball teams. But during the time the Toronto Blue Jays were winning 2 World Series to show Canada they belong, the Montreal Expos were doing the opposite. Despite having two good seasons in 1981 and 1994, player strikes in both seasons had messed up the Expos chances to win a World Series. However, there are more moments in the Expos franchise that many people remember. Here are three moments I think of when I hear the Montreal Expos name.
Youppi Getting Tossed Out Of A Ball Game
If you’re a Montreal Canadians fan, you already know who Youppi is, the mascot. But he was also mascot that worked for the Montreal Expos. Youppi became the mascot for the Expos in 1979 and until the franchise folded in 2004. But in 1989, an incident caused him to get kicked out of a ball game. When the Los Angeles Dodgers traveled to Montreal to play the Expos on August 23rd, 1989, both teams had no idea how long the game would last. The game went to a total of 22 innings! The incident started in the 7th inning after a double play, which initially got called a triple play against the Dodgers. Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda went out to talk to the umpires, and they changed the call.
However, at the Dodger dugout, Youppi jumped up and down on top of the dugout. Youppi continued to annoy Lasorda and the players so much that in the 11th inning, Lasorda called on umpire Bob Davidson. Lasorda demanded that Youppi must leave the Dodger dugout and the game. Davidson did just that and ejected Youppi from the game. Fans in Olympic Stadium begin to boo, and Youppi got off the Dodger dugout. The Dodgers won in the 22nd inning thanks to Rick Dempsey‘s homerun.
A Bet Between and Expos Fan and Mike Cameron
When fans and players interact with each other, it can go in many different ways. Some fans can feel happy meeting an athlete, and the athlete can feel good about making a fan’s day. This fan was not one of them. Back on July 29th, 2004, it was the 3rd game of a three-game series between the Expos and the New York Mets. It was this third game that would become one of Mets OF Mike Cameron’s most significant games in his career.
It all started with a fan by the name of George. George had been heckling Cameron throughout all three games. So in the final game of the series, a simple bet was placed. If Cameron hit a home run in his first at-bat, the fan would move from his seat, but if Cameron did not hit a home run, he would give George a hat. In Cameron’s first at-bat in the 2nd, he homered to centerfield. After he crossed home plate, he asked Goerge to move from his seat and find another.
But George didn’t move at all and stayed until Cameron went up for his 2nd at-bat in the 3rd inning. When Goerge was about to leave, Cameron told him to stay there for this at-bat. George watched as Cameron hit his second home run of the game, going deep left. Fans began coming to George’s seat, asking him to move. While I’m not sure if he moved after the second home run, let’s say he did move to another seat because, after this type of bet, you should’ve moved after the first homerun.
Fans throw Golf Balls in the Final Expos Home Game
It’s the final Expos home game ever. On Septemeber 29, 2004 Olympic Stadium got filled with fans to say goodbye to the Montreal Expos for the last time in Montreal. The game was that followed; however, it was a sad sendoff for Expos fans who came to Olympic Stadium that day. This game saw the Florida Marlins dominate the Montreal Expos. Trouble for the Expos began in the 1st inning, where the Marlins were able to score four runs thanks to an error and a few hits. It did not look better in the 3rd inning thanks to a homer by Miguel Cabrera, which then lead to a double by Mike Lowell. Once Sun-Woo Kim was taken out, it was here that fans began throwing golf balls. But when a golf ball got thrown during Jeff Conine‘s at-bat, HP umpire Rick Reed called time to stop the game
As the Expos started to walk off the field, the boos from the fans rained down on the Expos fans. As fans began to throw more objects on the field, the umps gathered together to try to control the crowd. It got so bad that they considered canceling the rest of the game if the crowd did not stop throwing objects on the field. The Expos public address announcer explained just that to the crowd. Eventually, the game did get back to being played as the game finally ended with the Marlins winning 9-1. Thankfully though, fans stayed to watch the last out made in Olympic Stadium history. Also, former Expos players came onto the field to say farewell to the Olympic Stadium. So on the bright side, it ended up great in the end, but a win could’ve made it better.
In the end, there are many things to be remembered if you think about the Montreal Expos. One example was Dennis Martinez‘s perfect game in 1991. Players like Vladimir Guerrero, Tim Raines, and Gary Carter have also played for the Expos in their career. However, if these moments might be new to you, you’ll have something to talk about with any baseball fan you know.
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