Death of the ‘Spos, Part 2

5 Oct

Further to this post, which seems to have attracted a fair bit of attention, thanks to this:

The death of the Montreal Expos was also the death of something unique in the world. There was no other major league city like Montreal and no other place in the world with a similar baseball culture or history.

Unfortunately, because Major League Baseball owned the Expos when it plunged the final knife into the team in 2004, MLB remains the official (revisionist) custodian of that history.

But unofficially, you can get a flavor for the bygone Expos era by digging a little bit on the web. Here’s a nice little audio montage from the website of the ‘Spos former radio home. The first voice you hear is play-by-play man Elliott Price – his final words on the last-ever game broadcast. The last voice in the montage brings back memories of many youthful summers. It is that of the Expos’ longest-serving English-language broadcaster Dave Van Horne, choking up as he shares his thoughts on the demise of the team.

And below is a video of the last out in Expos’ history, three years ago this week, as called by the great Jacques Doucet, whose singular job – French-language major-league baseball announcer – became obsolete when the Expos did. Another example of the death of something unique. Too bad MLB didn’t have the imagination to appreciate what it was killing off:

By the way, I hear a rumor that the baseball playoffs are on. Anyone know anything about that?


8 Responses to “Death of the ‘Spos, Part 2”

  1. laughing_loudly October 5, 2007 at 7:50 am #

    The worst team in MLB (not the Nationals by the way) is still light-years better than the Montreal baseball team. Oh I forgot… eh?

  2. Alan Echenberg October 5, 2007 at 9:34 am #

    Hey! An “eh?” joke!

    Now that’s comedy.

    You must slay ’em at parties, laughing boy…


    Get it?

  3. Baseball in 87 October 5, 2007 at 11:25 am #

    Mr. Echenberg you are an outstanding writer, and I enjoyed reading your post here. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington, DC area and as you can tell from my handle here, was a kid who put his own money in a escrow account for tickets to the expansion team Washington was to be awarded in 1987.

    I am not a conspiracy theorist either, but MLB leads one to feel that way. For years I thought there was a conspiracy to keep baseball out of Washington, and that was further fueled by the antics of Orioles owner Peter Angelos. Montreal clearly got the shaft from baseball in so many ways it is hard to keep track, and your feelings about baseball are clearly warranted and to be expected.

    Speaking for most Nationals fans, almost to a person we hoped to get awarded an expansion franchise, as we thought we deserved. Having been on the other end of a heartbreaking franchise relocation, I feel for Expos fans. Baseball, like all sports, is a business, and your comments about even in sports divorces do happen was particularly apt. But knowing that doesn’t make it easier.

    Montreal is a beautiful city full of vibrancy and life and with time I do think baseball will return. You will have to keep the torch burning, as Washington did for 33 years. It will take efforts from the business community and government in cooperation, along with new leadership in baseball, to see North America’s largest market without baseball is viable.

    The Nationals wil do fine here. The team has a 30 year lease with the city so no one is going anywhere or being contracted. The plan implemented by ownership is solid and making progress.

    One note about Expos retired numbers and records: speaking for myself, and many other fans, it feels disrespectful to try to claim these numbers and history for our own. They’re not ours — they are yours. And when you get baseball back, they will be yours to use and to cherish. I am pleased ownership here is planning to honor old Senators greats at the new ballpark. It galls me to think Walter Johnson is in the Hall at a member of the Twins, and certainly I want to be no part of claiming a proud heritage that doesn’t belong to me.

    Keep up the good work. Thanks.

  4. tsos20 October 5, 2007 at 11:47 am #

    It’s more important for baseball to be in Washington DC than in Montreal. Montreal is not even missed by most fans. They were always rebuilding, giving away good players instead of paying them. If you can’t afford a team, you shouldn’t be in the league. It’s not right for thr Yankees to have 1 player making more than whole team. The Expo’s were never willing or able to do what it takes to win. Now that they are gone, they aren’t missed by many; particularly the players, who hated traveling there.
    The Sultan on Sports

  5. Alan Echenberg October 5, 2007 at 12:33 pm #

    To Baseball in 87:

    Thanks for your thoughtful note. I doubt baseball will return to Montreal. As I have written elsewhere on this blog, the sport has dramatically diminished in popularity in Canada in recent years (we just lost our last Triple-A team). Kids seem more interested in soccer as a summertime sport these days. I know it is different in the United States. That being said, now that the Canadian dollar is worth more than the American dollar, if the Expos had held on a few more years, they may have been in better financial shape to survive.


    To the Sultan on Sports:

    Pretty big generalization about the players. I remember more players loving Montreal than hating travelling there…

  6. indianglory October 5, 2007 at 12:52 pm #

    nice …

  7. Andy December 19, 2007 at 9:44 pm #

    Oh, and did not know about it. Thanks for the information …


  1. Anniversary of a Teamicide « echenblog - October 5, 2007

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