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Expos fans invade Toronto

Jul 22, 2013, 11:32 AM EST

The Tampa Bay Rays went to Toronto this past weekend. So too did a whole lot of Expos fans, remembering the past and hoping for the future:

A crew of Montreal Expos fans, willing to do just about anything to get their team back, has driven to Toronto to watch the Blue Jays. Organizers say about 1,000 Expos supporters, hoping to attract the attention of baseball’s movers and shakers, packed into the outfield bleachers at the Rogers Centre on Saturday for the Blue Jays game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The trip was organized in part by Matthew Ross of Expos Nation, who is committed to getting a team back in Montreal. He’s not alone in that desire. The Prime Minister is on board too:

 

Montreal once supported the Expos quite well compared to many other teams in the league. And at 3.9 million or so, it’s the 15th largest urban agglomeration in North America and would be the 13th largest in Major League Baseball if it re-entered the league. It’d be the 9th largest single-team urban center.

Obviously it has other cultural, historical, commercial and media challenges than a lot of current baseball markets. And it strikes me that Major League Baseball would be loathe to go back to Montreal for a number of reasons any time soon (not to mention Montreal’s presumed lack of desire to give MLB the time of day after what MLB did to it a decade ago). But it does seem like, in the long term, Montreal makes all kinds of sense for baseball.

Maybe it will happen in 20 years. I hope it happens in my lifetime.

  1. baseballici0us - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I would LOVE to see the Expos back. I don’t know, growing up watching baseball when they were around – whether they were good or not is one thing – it feels a little empty without them.

    Not to mention….Their uniforms would make FANTASTIC throwback jerseys right now.

    • rayfinkleisonehellofamodelamerican - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      All you need to do is go to a Nationals game in Washington. There is a ton of Expos gear being worn. Fans consider this their “retro” jerseys. I’d like to think that the Natinals jersey should be used as their throwbacks.

    • kevinbnyc - Jul 22, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      Never mind a throwback. Those powder blues should be their every day uniform.

  2. jcmeyer10 - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    cut to Cur68 and proudlycanadian meeting those fans with pitchforks to push back the invaders.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      I believe that cur is originally from the Montreal area. I used to enjoy watching Expos games in the old Jarry Park. It was a fun experience. There was one rabid Expos fan who continually danced in the aisles.

      There were over 40,000 fans at both of the weekend games, so, I did not specifically notice the Expos fans during either game.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:05 AM

        That would explain a lot of he is from montreal, bet he is French Canadian too. I also bet his parents never left the house when he was growing up because they didn’t want to kiss him goodbye. Also tonight was 34,515, expect that number to keep going down as the jays continue to tighten their death grip on last place in the AL East

      • drone501 - Jul 23, 2013 at 7:49 AM

        pirate fan here. my sons and myself went to a pirate game in 1981 at 3 rivers stadium on a miserable rainy night. the expos were in town involved in the pennant race. got up to let someone in our aisle and saw that donald sutherland was sitting next to us. the local paper the next day said that he had been following the team on its road trip.

  3. Old Gator - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    I don’t know whether they’ll ever get a whole team back in Montreal, but I’m sure they can cut a deal with Macondo fans to send Scrooge McLoria back to them in case the NHL wants to export the Canadiens to Las Vegas or some such place.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:55 PM

      Pass! Scrooge McLoria reminds me of Charlie the Tuna. Nobody wants him.

      • Old Gator - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        Yeah, that’s true. The uniforms, new logo, futuristic (ie postapocalyptic) design of Macondo Banana Massacre Field and, of course, Tommy confirm that whereas he may not taste good, he certainly has good taste.

    • mybrunoblog - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      Sorry, Montreal doesn’t deserve another team. They had one and it was a pretty damn good team too. They didn’t support the team and they moved. This is where the story ends folks.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:19 PM

        That damn good team was deemed irrelevant to the strike that wiped out their season. Your story doesn’t have a beginning or middle.

  4. Liam - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Stop Harper.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      Assuming you are referring to PM Stephen and not Bryce, I’ll provisionally up-thumb.
      Vive Trudeau (or that other dude, with the beard; no, not Jayson Werth, the NDP guy).

  5. lyon810 - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Maybe they could at least get PART of a team back…

  6. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Personally, I think a franchise in Montreal with an outdoor stadium that truly captured the feel of Quebec would go a huge boon for baseball.

    For that matter – if the Jays got out of that Masoleum they are in and did the same thing, that would also be a plus

    • baseballici0us - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      Yeah, but then they would have to develop a whole new system by which to tell Bautista and Encarnacion what pitch is coming.

      Sorry :-)

    • drone501 - Jul 23, 2013 at 7:52 AM

      is that mauseleum still standing. went by it while a met expos game was going on. not many cars in the lots.

  7. nbjays - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Since Tampa Bay’s home attendance sucks and Selig is upset about it, maybe they were there to capture the whole Rays team and hold them hostage in the shell of Olympic Stadium.

  8. ramblingalb - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Montreal proved they had little interest in MLB, and have done nothing to show otherwise since the Expos left. No chance.

    • thebadguyswon - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      Sadly, I agree. The Expos fans acted like they were the only team screwed in 1994 and never came back to the park like they did that year.

      Now, the city is hockey and soccer and a little CFL.

      Baseball will not be back in Montreal….ever.

    • raysfan1 - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      The Expos may not have been the only team screwed in 1994, but they were screwed worse– fans didn’t get to see their team in the playoffs, were denied a division pennant they had in the bag, stuck with an owner who dismantled a winning club and alienated the populace.

      It may be an uphill battle for baseball to be viable in Montreal, but MLB gets the lion’s share of the blame and not Montreal.

      • thebadguyswon - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        Cleveland hadn’t been to the postseason in a lot longer than Montreal. Same for Seattle.

      • raysfan1 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:36 AM

        Cleveland and Seattle also did not have Jeff Luria systematically dismantle what had been a successful franchise.

  9. f352421 - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    not only should mlb not go back to montreal they should get rid of the other canadian team ..no players want to play in canada ..cross the border for every road trip, go through customs, use canadian money, drink canadian milk from a plastic bag etc etc .why doesnt canada start its own league like mexican league ,stand on your own 2 .

    • hcf95688 - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:43 PM

      Moving the Rays to Montreal would be awesome. The BJs/Expos rivalry would be an off-the-chain better version of Texas/Houston, and could eventually rival LA/SF or Yanks/Bosox.

      • raysfan1 - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        No, that would be terrible. Plus my Rays ain’t leaving FL anyway.

      • raysfan1 - Jul 22, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        Not against Montreal getting a team, just please stop volunteering mine.

      • f352421 - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        yeah imagine the great ratings if bjs/expos got to the world series lolol mlb would love that

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      I personally would love to see the Expos get another shot… but I definitely giggled at the milk in a bag reference.

      • uwsptke - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        Hey guy, what’s so funny aboot dat?

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 22, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        On the other hand, we are not amused by the US gun culture and all too frequent mass murders.

      • mybrunoblog - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        Wait. Canadians drink milk out of a bag? Wtf?

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      to f352421. I guess that in your case, ignorance is bliss. I assume that you have travelled very little. You should try it. It is a great experience.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        You have milk bags???

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        Cartons, bags and even a few bottles. It is cheaper to buy it in bags.

      • Old Gator - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        Especially now that you can’t collect your GST back after you get home.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        It was too expensive and cumbersome to administer that goodie that was available only to tourists.

  10. thekingdave - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    Texas/Houston rivalry? Nonexistent. The same people that are filling the seats in Arlington filled the seats at MMP in 04/05.

  11. heyblueyoustink - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    A thousand fans, eh? So they brought their entrie former season ticket base then?

  12. losangelesfan - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Vive Les Expos!

  13. losangelesfan - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    The Dodgers should put their AAA team back in Montreal. Just like the really old days.

  14. unclemosesgreen - Jul 22, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    The Quebecois came riding down en masse chanting: Vous parlerez tous français ou mourir!

    Many beavers died that day…

    • Old Gator - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      You’re talking about Hallandale Beach in November, right?

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        Oui – le meme chose

  15. modellforprez - Jul 22, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    We know how passionate Montreal fans are. If you need reminded check oot a Habs game. so that a thousand of those Expedited fans showed is not suprising but they wont put A major league team back there. Hey maybe triple A squad they can support

  16. historiophiliac - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    I was really hoping this story would include some Canadian-on-Canadian violence.

    Booooo!!!!!!

    • Old Gator - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Vive le Quebec libre!
      – Charles de Gaulle

      There. That ought to get some started for ya, Histy.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        Merci, OG.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        Dammit! Hit reply too quick. Shoulda gone with “l’OG”…not as funny now. :(

    • unclemosesgreen - Jul 22, 2013 at 4:01 PM

      Sorry – it’s late in the season and they’re all vying for the HBT Lady Byng trophy.

  17. thebadguyswon - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    “The Rays ain’t leaving Florida anyway”

    Of course not, we all know what rabid fans Floridians are. 12, 000 per game for the soon to be first place Rays. Yessir….tremendous support right there. Don’t let your blind arrogance cloud your judgement. MLB will ship them out if this continues for another 5 years. MLB in Florida is a dismal failure.

  18. mudhead123 - Jul 22, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    We need more Canadian baseball teams. Only makes sense

  19. jrbdmb - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Perhaps Vancouver BC should get a team as well. Then when they play the Mariners we can have tributes to The Great Pig War of 1859. I think Selig may remember that one personally …

  20. dirtyharry1971 - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    There will never be another team in montreal, case closed, end of story

    PS
    One day there will not be any baseball teams playing in Canada, I so cant wait for that day

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