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“Up, Up & Away,” Jonah Keri’s comprehensive history of the Expos drops today

Mar 25, 2014, 8:53 AM EDT

Expos in a line

The most anticipated baseball book in a long while comes out today: Jonah Keri’s “Up, Up & Away,” which is a comprehensive history of the Montreal Expos. But the term “comprehensive history” seems so dry. Here’s the full title, which gives you a better view of what to expect: Up, Up & Away: The Kid, The Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, Le Grand Orange, Youppi!, The Crazy Business of Baseball, & the Ill-Fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos.

I haven’t read it yet — it should arrive at my doorstep via a preorder today — but here’s a review of it over at The Hardball Times which confirms what I suspected: it’ll be fun, enthusiastic, at times rollicking and above all else, informative. Well, maybe above that, passionate Keri is from Montreal. He was a lifelong Expos fan until the Expos’ life was cut short. This was the book he was born to write and anyone interested in this subject matter — which should be everyone — couldn’t have asked for a better person to write it.

Really looking forward to this. Really hoping everyone gives it a chance, lest the Expos be lost to history.

  1. themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    The 1994 strike. I recall it well. The Expos were the best team in baseball. They had the iconic Filipe Alou managing and his son Moisés playing. The great, unequalled Vladdy Guerrero, too. And of course Pedro and Carter, a battery like no other.

    Ah, what might have been…

    • MAVENTrap - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      No doubt that was a team of future stars, but Carter retired in 92 and Vlad came up in 96…

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        Hey, I’m old. I remember what I want to remember. L’chaim.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        Hey Many, I know Yvan Cournoyer was injured most of that year, but was Henri Richard on that team too?

  2. timmons94 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    Would be a better market today than Tampa bay, Cleveland, Florida, Oakland. Seattle, Arizona .. Shameful what loria did to great city of Montreal

    • 18thstreet - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      I’ll be interested to read the book, but looking at these numbers, it feels like Montreal had a couple good years of attendance in the early 80s and never really did again.

      Yes, the mid-90s team did pretty well, but let’s not overstate the extent of the local support.

      • Old Gator - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:07 AM

        I await delivery meself. Meanwhile, let me point out that, however much of an opportunistic slimeball Scrooge McLoria might be, he wasn’t in it alone. He was ably directed, aided and abetted by Bud Slight and the low archons of baseball. Dumping on Scrooge is indeed fun and educational, but let’s face it: as heels go, he was nothing but a plantar’s wart.

  3. yahmule - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Putting The Hawk on the cover was a clever way of prying 23 bucks out of me.

    • bravojawja - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      US or Canadian?

  4. toodrunktotastethischicken - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Are there any other baseball books one could recommend?

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      I’m a huge WP Kinsella fan. Read Shoeless Joe (the book Field of Dreams was made from). Then read his Fencepost Chronicles. Of course Jim Bouton’s Ball Four is like The Talmud of baseball books. Kiner’s Korner is good. The Bullpen Gospels by Hayhurst (I really recommend that one. You’ll laugh. A lot.)

      There’s a wonderful illustrated book called We Are The Ship; The Story of Negro League Baseball which is written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Its brilliant. I have a copy in anticipation of my first Grandchild.

      Happy Reading.

    • rollinghighwayblues - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:06 AM

      “The Bad Guys Won” by Jeff Pearlman.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      Soul of Baseball – Posnanski
      Extra 2%, (about Tampa Bay Rays) – Keri (he loves himself some long titles)
      Moneyball – Lewis
      The Book – TangoTiger, MGL and Dolphin

      • Patrick R. - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:07 PM

        Who would “thumbs down” this comment?

    • adventuresinfresno - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      Warren Cromartie’s book, “Slugging it out in Japan” was fantastic. Lots about his Expos days, but also a greatly detailed piece on his time in Japan as well. Fascinating book.

    • antaresrex - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      I’m currently working on “Lords of the Realm” by John Helyar. Recommend it.

    • moogro - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      Asking questions, books, and being nice are bad. Thumbs down. 😦

  5. slickdemetrius - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    First thing I did after purchasing the MLB2K12 game for my nephew was to remove the Marlins from the roster and insert the Expos, complete with uniforms, stadium and some cyberfaces of past players like Raines and Carter, two of my childhood heros.
    No offense intended to Marlins fans, I just hate your owner!

    • nbjays - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      I don’t think you’ll offend too many Feesh fans… they probably despise Loria more than you do.

      • Old Gator - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:10 AM

        That’s a fair proposition. And he knows it, too. On a spawrts tork raydeeo interview last Fall he admitted that he’s aware that he’s detested here, and he doesn’t make any public appearances – not even at the Saltalamacchia signing press conference, where he sat quietly in the back of the room for a little while and then disappeared back to his web.

    • pjmitch - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM


      I’m a Met fan (living in CA) but saw the Expos as a fun franchise way up north. Enjoyed the players, those all ready mentioned and guys from Coco Laboy to Tim Wallach. Wish the team was still there.

      If the Astros and Marlins fell off the face of the earth, I wouldn’t bat an eye.

      • stex52 - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        Funny, I feel the same way about the Mets.

      • Old Gator - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        Not me. I grew up a Mutts fan (but respected the Borg because they were my grandfather’s favorite team).

        On the other hand,

        …if California slides into the ocean
        As the mystics and statistics say it will
        I predict Macondo Banana Massacre Field will still be standing
        Until the city council finds some way to avoid paying its bills.

        (Resolutely oppose the tyranny of the scan!)

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        Sorry Gator, but California sliding into the ocean would seem unlikely. The San Andreas Fault is a strike/slip fault system, meaning that the plates are sliding beside one another, not away from or under/over one another. So, perhaps in as little as a few million years, it should be a short hop for the Angels to play Oakland.

      • moogro - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        You just ruined “A View to A Kill” for me with that science stuff.

      • Old Gator - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        Heh, I’m an old rockhound so I know that, nothanks. I was quoting a verse from Warren Zevon’s song “Desperadoes Under the Eaves.”

        Speaking of which, have you noticed how much these blogs are like plate edges in a subduction zone? I’ve even thought of deeming the process by which they are pushed inexorably to the right in the top window “hbtectonics.”

  6. schmedley69 - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    They were a fun, likable franchise, and they didn’t come up with stupid marketing slogans like “Expotude.” Hopefully the franchise will return to Montreal when baseball fails again in D.C.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      Why don’t you hold your breath until that happens?

  7. simon94022 - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Montreal is a great city, but it wasn’t a nefarious plot by Selig and Loria that killed the Expos. There were fundamental business problems that no one in Quebec could solve:

    – a decrepit stadium and no viable financing plan to replace it.
    – no prospect of significant local TV revenue.
    – attendance that was historically mediocre, and sometimes very low.
    – the long term draining away of Montreal’s wealth and corporate base to Toronto.
    – the weakness of the Canadian dollar in the late 90s/early 2000s. Almost all Expos revenues were in Canadian, while the team’s major expenses (player salaries) all had to be paid in US. The Blue Jays faced this same problem, but there situation was never as dire because they were stronger on the other revenue sources.

    And the bottom line is that for years after Mr Bronfman passed, no investor ever stepped forward with an interest and ability to operate a Major League Baseball team in Montreal. So the demise of the Expos was sad, but also inevitable.

    • Old Gator - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      Which is as much to say that other factors weakened the Expos but still, MLB had no backup plan or even interest in saving it.

      Even so, much as I love my Feesh despite the team’s execrable ownership, I wish our own city and county councils had had the cojones to tell them to go ahead when they threatened to move to San Antonio if they didn’t get a stadium built with public funds. Since I don’t go to any games as long as the detestable Scrooge McLoria owns the team anyway, I would have been just as happy to watch them on cable from Texas as I am watching them on cable at the local sports bars.

  8. simon94022 - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    I do think Montreal could be a great relocation or expansion destination for MLB, especially because the Big Owe is available as a temporary venue, much like RFK was in Washington. But it will take determined local and provincial political leadership to lock down a ballpark plan with a lot of public sector support. If that happened, the Rays or even the A’s would be crazy not to consider Montreal.

  9. disgracedfury - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Yes the same evil MLB and Bud Selig who are making A-Rod the worst thing in baseball(when it should be Anthony Bosch) are also responsible for stopping the world series which is unbelievable looking back.

    The Owners Puppet Bud stole a Expos run to the world series and saving that team.

  10. cshearing - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Thanks for the heads-up. This should be on my Kindle by the time I get home.

  11. jackrabbit56 - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    My favorite player announcement at old Jarry Park (Parc Jarry) was always for “le receveur, the catcher, John BOCC-a-BELL-aaaaa”

  12. mybrunoblog - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    I’m just impressed that Calcaterra didn’t pull a “I’m in the media so send me a copy of the book for free and I’ll write about it”. Calcaterra appears to have done something many media people try to avoid doing. Pay for stuff.

  13. djandujar - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    I can’t wait to read this!
    I have fond memories of driving up to the old stadium in Montreal to see games.

  14. niners37 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    I can’t wait to read it. Hope it’s in the same style as ‘The Bad Guys Won’.

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