Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for October 3rd!
Andy Chavez at the plate. A soft ground ball to the second baseman. A quick throw to first base. The third and final out of the ballgame. And the end of major league baseball for the city of Montreal.
October 3rd, 2004 is the final game for the Montreal Expos. This Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of Canada, looks at the Expos and end of an era in Montreal.
Montreal did have a team before the Expos. They were known as the Montreal Royals. They were a minor league team for the Brooklyn and LA Dodgers. That team created many major league stars. Sparky Anderson, Roberto Clement, Duke Snider, Don Drysdale and Tommy Lasorda.
The team made baseball history for being the first major-league affiliate to break the “baseball color barrier”. On October 23, 1945 the royals signed Jackie Robinson.
This Canadian History for Kids article continues when the Dodgers decided to move their farm team closer to LA in 1960, leaving the city of Montreal without baseball. Montreal city council worked hard at bringing baseball back to the city and after nine years, the Expos made there debut in the Major Leagues. The first Major League team outside of the United States.
The team was named after the Expo 67 World’s Fair and started play at Jarry Park Stadium. This Canadian History for Kids article continues after the 1976 Summer Olympics, starting in 1977 the team’s home park was Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.
They weren’t very good at the start but eventually the team won 95 games in 1979, finishing second in the National League East. The team won its only division championship in the strike-shortened split season of 1981, ending its season with a 3 games to 2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.
This Canadian History for Kids article continues during the 90′s when the team again fell on hard times, and fewer and fewer fans were showing up the cold and unfriendly Olympic Stadium. The team was eventually sold and moved to Washington, where they still play as the Washington Nationals.
The Expos had many all-star players through the years. Gary Carter and Andre Dawson were elected to the baseball hall of fame as Montreal Expos. The first major star for the expos was Rusty Staub, who people from Montreal call “Le Grand Orange”.
The Montreal mascot’s name is Youppi! After the Expos left Montreal, Youppi! became the mascot of the Montreal Canadians.
And that’s this week Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of our Canada.