- Yesterday was a big day in baseball as the Washington Nationals, who were once the Montreal Expos, won their first-ever World Series Championship.
- Their win has left old Expos fans conflicted.
- See fan reactions from Twitter below!
I remember my first Montreal Expos game like it was yesterday. I was 10 years old and my grandfather scored great seats. I got popcorn, hotdogs, a cap, and even one of those giant foam fingers. Back then, you could still go to a ballgame without mortgaging your house. What a time it was. Now, fast forward 18 years and the team that was formerly known as the Montreal Expos just won their first-ever World Series Championship.
Like many other Montrealers, I was sad to see the team I grew up admiring be sold to another city. In 2004, the Expos were in a dire financial situation. After another losing season, revenues dried up (along with Montreal's interest in baseball) and the team was sold to Washington D.C., becoming the Nationals.
Yesterday night, the Nationals made history by winning their first-ever World Series against the Houston Astros. Not only that, they are now the only team in World Series history to come back from a three-game deficit. As you can imagine, this has many Expos fans in Montreal a little hot under the collar this morning.
Though there are rumours of bringing a baseball team back to Montreal, many baseball fans in the city feel a little cheated — angry even — that the Nationals were able to win a World Series. To make matters worse, they won it all after honouring the Expos this year for the first time ever.
The Athletic Montreal's Arpon Basu encapsulated it perfectly last night after the final pitch was thrown in the National's World Series win.
Some of you might be too young to remember the Expos, but they meant a whole lot to this city. The team was inaugurated in 1969 and threw their opening pitch at Jarry Park Stadium (yes, that's right, Jarry Park!)
To understand the context of why many Expos fans in Montreal were nauseous last night, we need to go all the way back to 1994.
In 1994, the Expos were having their best season on record and were well on their way to being World Series Champions. Right before the playoffs started, a league-wide player's strike dashed any hopes of the Expos winning a World Series.
After the strike, the Expos had a fire sale, trading all of their best players for two bats and a bag of balls. Once ownership all but liquidated the team, the Expos started losing (hard). Montreal sports fan don't tolerate a loser, so slowly but surely, interest and attendance declined until the team was sold to Washington ahead of the 2005 baseball season.
So yeah, we're a little salty, ok?
You can't have salt without a little bit of sugar, though. While many fans are hovering somewhere between sad and mad, many are happy for the Washington Nationals.
Even former Expo Pedro Martinez got in on the action.
The happiest former Expo, however? The one and only Youppi!
Congratulations to the Washington Nationals (I guess!)
Watch out for World Series 2034 where the Expos take on the Nationals and sweep the series. You heard it here first!