My Last Expos Game, The Last Expos Game
Everyone in Montreal knew it was coming. For years, since Major League Baseball was swindled by Jeffrey Loria into buying our Montreal Expos on December 20, 2001, we knew that there would be a day when the Expos would be playing their final game in Montreal. On September 29, 2004, that day finally came and I decided with my good friend Geoff to get some decent tickets and take in Nos Amours one final time.
While I usually attended a few games a year, I have to admit that like most Montrealers, I had fallen out of love with the Expos. Or, more accurately, I felt like they fell out of love with me. The ownership of the Expos had so poorly managed the relationship with their fans, their television broadcast rights and their never-ending pool of talented young players, that everyone felt like they were being smacked in the face on a daily basis.
When the 1994 players strike ended a season where were destined for the playoffs at minimum and the World Series at best, I was heartbroken. While my years of serious baseball passion were with the 1978-1984 Expos, I bought into that 1994 team. When the core of that team was dismantled for 1995, I was done.
So, we went to that final game and it was surreal. The seats were full, but the mood was upset and hostile. No one was really there to have a good time, but to say goodbye and thanks to the guys on the field. Some golf balls were thrown, the police threatened to call the game, and fittingly, Loria’s Marlins beat the Expos 9-1. Tim Raines got the ovation he deserved and I was ready for it all to end. But…