A few months ago, I started discussions with a couple of friends about heading to the Baseball Hall of Fame to attend this year’s induction of the newest members. We were all seriously considering it and planning the trip mainly because one of the Expos greatest players, Pedro Martinez was one of the inductees. After a series of emails it was clear that we couldn’t get everyone to commit to the trip so our adventure quickly fell apart. I wasn’t phased by the turn of event and was going to find a way to attend. It was right around that time that I got an email from Expos Nation, the key fan lobby group trying to get a baseball team back in Montreal. They decided to organize a trip and were encouraging as many Expos fans to travel to Cooperstown to celebrate with Pedro (and Randy Johnson) and make our presence felt. It was a wacky one day trip (that ended up including over 12 hours on a bus) which meant an early rise and a late return all in one day. I decided to buy myself a ticket on our Expos bus.
The two buses left downtown Montreal at 6:30 AM from The Palais des Congrès and we quickly found ourselves on the I87 after a surprisingly short stop at the border. While I did luck out with the only empty seat on the bus next to me, it became less glamorous as the day went on as it was right next to the toilet. We finally got off the bus after about 6 hours since we lost quite a bit of time slowly winding through the packed Cooperstown streets.
That left us with just under 6 hours until we had to get back on the bus and head right back to Montreal. In hindsight I should have skipped the first half of the ceremony and spent a few hours at the actual Baseball Hall of Fame. Not knowing what order the inductees were going to speak in, I couldn’t risk not hearing Pedro. Instead I spend the 4 hours or so walking around, listening to the speeches and drinking a ton of water to deal with the blazing heat. Once the event was done I walked quickly over to the HOF to get in as much as I could in about an hour. Next time I visit, I think I’ll plan for at least a few days.
Thank you to the whole Expos Nation team who organized this trip so that about a hundred of us baseball nerds could share in this momentous event and let the baseball world know that we are still here and that we want a team to return to our city.