A hole, believed to have been caused by accumulation of snow, is seen in the newly installed Olympic Stadium roof after it tore in 1999. Five years later, the Montreal Expos, who played at the stadium, left town for Washington, D.C. There's been an emotional gap ever since, but many fans who mourned the loss will be back at the stadium this week to try to convince Major League Baseball that Montreal can support a team. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Hope springs eternal for Montreal’s baseball fans


This is the time of year when baseball fans in Montreal get their hopes up and let go–at least for a little while–the long-lingering pain they have felt since the Expos left for Washington, D.C. following the 2004 season.

For the die-hard fans, it still hurts–a lot.


Thousands of baseball fans have turned turn out for exhibition games at Olympic Stadium involving the Toronto Blue Jays for the past four years. But advance sales are down this year. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press/File)

There was a giant gala Sunday night reuniting about 10 former Expo players and the fans that adored them for so many years–part of the leadup to a pair of exhibition games between the Toronto Blue Jays and the St. Louis Cardinals Monday and Tuesday at Olympic Stadium.

This is the fifth year the Jays have come to town to finish off their Grapefruit League schedule.

And every year Montreal baseball fans, carrying a hurt to match that giant hole that once ripped open the Olympic Stadium roof, have packed the joint, hoping to impress the poobahs who rule the cartel know as Major League Baseball that a team belongs in Montreal.

But hopes for a return of baseball may be fading, at least a bit.

The advance sale for each of this week’s games is about 25,000, about half the size of the crowds that have turned out in the past.

Fans fill the outfield at Olympic Stadium prior to the Expos’ final game on Sept. 29, 2004, against Florida. Many Montreal baseball fans continue to hope that it’s just a matter of time before a major league team returns to the city. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press/File)

But those games were played on weekends.

This year they are being played on a weeknight, a school night.

How much the size of the crowd will matter in the final decision on whether the Expos return is yet to be determined.

Further complicating matters is last fall’s mayoralty election.

Denis Coderre, who adores the game, lost to Valerie Plante, who appears to be anything but a baseball fan and, in fact, has passed on going to either of this week’s games.

For an assessment of where the return of the Expos stands and where it goes from here, I spoke with Dave Kaufman, a long-time lover of baseball and a talk show host in Montreal.

Categories: Economy, International, Politics, Society
Tags: , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *