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Archive for the ‘Expos Reminisce’ Category

Lee Smith, Montreal Expos, Future Hall of Famer

In Expos Greats, Expos Reminisce on March 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm

When looking for someone to write about future Hall of Famer Lee Smith’s tenure with the ‘Spos, Last Expos Standing turned to Oren Phillips, Founder of the “Put Lee Smith in the Hall of Fame” Facebook Group. The group currently has 315 members and counting, here is what Oren has to say…

Though Lee Arthur Smith’s tenure in Montreal was short, his impact on the history of the Expos can’t be denied. The final stop of a historic career in 1997, Smith joined a Expos bullpen that featured current prisoner Ugueth Urbina along with an assortment of lesser known bullpen arms. His presence on the team brought an air of greatness with 473 saves already on his resume. In 25 games Smith racked up 5 saves with a less than stellar ERA of 5.82. With a team going nowhere, Lee knew it was time to hang up his spikes and did so as the all time saves leader. Now some might say he was hanging on for too long and brought nothing to the Expos, lets not forget other former greats who made Montreal a stop on their farewell tour such as Gary Carter, Graig Nettles, Pete Rose and one time prisoner Ron LeFlore. In a career that should be recognized in Cooperstown, Lee Smith made the most of his time in Canada and for that the Expos organization owe him a debt of gratitude.

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Adieu to O.C.

In Expos Greats, Expos Reminisce, Exposed, Last Expo Standing on March 1, 2012 at 3:18 am

  Last month, Expos shortstop Orlando Cabrera (1997-2004) hung up his cleats. While the O-dog was never named to an all-star team he made a name for himself in his post-spos career as good luck charm for playoff bound teams. O.C. retires ranked tenth in Expos history with 877 hits, tenth in total bases (1333), and 8th in doubles (214). In 2001 he became the first Expos SS to earn a Rawlings Gold Glove. He followed that up by leading the N.L. in errors the following season with 29. In his final full season with Montreal, Cabrera led the team in doubles (47), RBI (80), and stolen bases (24). He was a two-time Expos player of the year (2001 & 2003), but in 2004 as Nomar Garciaparra watched Derek Jeter leap into the stands to make an overrated catch and the Red Sox came calling.  A colossal three team trade was completed which sent Nomar to the Cubbies, O.C. and Dougie Alphabets to the Sox, and Brendan Harris and one of the Alex Gonzalezes to the Expos.  Cabrera made all Bostonians forget about Nomah by batting .379 in the Bosox miraculous 2004 ALCS comeback. He parlayed this performance into a free agent deal with the Angels, for whom he played in the ’05 and ’07 playoffs. Cabrera had a 63-game on-base streak in 2006, which is among the top five streaks of all time. In 2007, he won his second gold glove, however in the off-season the Angels traded him to the White Sox for starter Jon Garland. During the next three seasons, Cabrera would appear in the playoffs for each team he played for: White Sox (2008), Twins (2009), & Reds (2010). In 2011 he joined the defending champs the San Francisco Giants, but alas the pairing would not result in a playoff appearance. In total O.C. appeared in 37 playoff games (none as an Expos) and he batted .228 with 18 RBI. According to baseball-reference his career totals compare to Tony Fernandez and Garry Templeton and that sounds about right.

O’s in the Spos

In Expos Reminisce, Last Expo Standing on February 26, 2012 at 10:33 pm

After parting ways with free agent and potential Hall of Famer Vlad Guerrero , the Orioles seemed to be done with the Expos. However, they have recently signed 1b Nick Johnson to a minor league deal. Johnson last appeared in the majors in 2010 while batting .167 in 98 PA’s for the Yankees. The former 2004 Expos won’t be new to the Baltimore/Maryland area as he enjoyed arguably his best seasons in the nation’s capital upon moving there with the franchise in 2005 and 2006. Johnson is a career .209 playoff hitter in 76 PA’s with the ’02 and ’03 Yanks. With a career .409 OBP he appeared heading for stardom, but Johnson has been riddled with injuries and has yet to make an all-star appearance. Meanwhile, Guerrero continues to be bypassed by all A.L. teams in need of a DH.

Opening Day 2011…Minus the Expos Again

In Expos Reminisce on April 2, 2011 at 12:31 am

Welcome to Jarry Park! Home of the Montreal Expos. Can I help you find your seats?

This week marks the 7th Opening Day that Montreal must suffer without the Expos. The Expos were so Amazin’ that they defeated the Mets in their first game ever and pitched a No-hitter in their 9th (the Mets have yet to throw a No-no). In honor of the 2nd most successful MLB team north of the border here is a list of Montreal Expos firsts courtesy of my copy of the 2001 Expos Media Guide.

First Game: Montreal Expos 11, N.Y. Mets 10 @ Shea Stadium  4/8/69

First Home Game: Montreal Expos 8, St. Louis Cardinals 7 4/14/69

First Hitter: Maury Wills struck out by Mudcat Grant

First Hit: Bob Bailey two-run double in the first

First Run: Gary Sutherland reached first on an error

First Home Run: Dan McGinn off of Tom Seaver in the 3rd

First Grand Slam: Mack Jones off Jack Fisher (Reds) 5/10/69

Winning Pitcher: Don Shaw in relief

Shutout & No-hitter: Bill Stoneman vs Phils 4/17/69

First winning season: 1979 (95-65)

First to go Yard in 'Spos History...the Immortal Bob Bailey

First .500 Month: July 1970 (15-15)

First Broadcaster: Dave Van Horne & Russ Taylor (CKGM)

First Topps Rookie All-Star: 3b Coco Laboy 1969

First N.L. Player of the Month: Gary Carter September 1980 (.360 Avg, 7 Hrs)

First N.L. Pitcher of the Month: Ross Grimsley (4-0, 1.54 ERA)

First (& Only) Playoff Appearance: 1981

First # Retired: Rusty Staub #10 5/15/93

First 20 game hitting streak: Delino Deshields (21 games, 6/28-7/21/93)

First Player Drafted: Balor Moore 1969

 

Montreal Philly Phinale

In Expos Reminisce on August 15, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Ten Days Before the Axe Falls On The Expos

On September 19,2004 I took the first of what would become an annual trip to Citizen’s Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia. Little did I or the other  42,602 in attendance   know this would be the last day the Montreal Expos would ever visit the City of Brotherly Love.  The Phillies were enjoying a strong September (they would finish 19-8) while the woeful Expos were in town having a Bizarro September (they would finish 9-18). It was the final game of a three game series and the Expos had managed to win the first two.  The Phils had left the dreary confines of Veteran Stadium and were making a run at 90 wins and hoping to stay in the Wild Card mix.  Montreal Firstbaseman  Brad Wilkerson led the game off with a double off Kevin Millwood. Despite the cheers from the Millwood Militia, the starter would leave the game after just two innings. Phils catcher Mike Lieberthal tied the game at one apiece with a homer off current Blue Jay Scott Downs. Soon-to-be-replaced-by-Ryan-Howard-in-2005 Jim Thome gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead by singling in J-Roll. Top of the 4th, Endy Chavez knocks in current Dodger Jamey Carroll to tie it at two again. The Phils then broke out with five runs by the 6th inning. Placido Polanco contributes 3 hits and 2 RBI in the 7-2 victory. Gavin Floyd (who according to Baseball Digest would like to have dinner with MLK, President Obama, & Eddie Vedder) earned the win in relief for the Phillies. The fortunes of the two teams couldn’t be more drastic afterwards. Ten days later, MLB announced the Expos would be leaving Montreal. No fanfare or farewell tour, just packin’ up and becoming the Nats. The Phillies would miss the ‘o5 and ’06 playoffs by a combined total of four games. However, from 07-09 they have enjoyed three playoff appearances, two N.L. pennants, and one World Series championship. In total there were seven former Expos who played in this game currently still playing in MLB their stats for the game are in parentheses : Scott Downs (L,4IP,6 K’s, 5 Runs), Gary Majewski (2IP, 5 hits & 2 runs allowed), Ryan Church(one PH walk), Jamey Carroll (1-3, 1R), Maicer Izturis (0-4, 1K), Brian Schneider (0-2, 2 BB),&  Juan Rivera (2-4, 1BB).