The first Canadian team admitted to BASEBALL's
National League, the Expos began playing in 1969 at Jarry Park in Montréal's north end. The team's principal owner, Charles Bronfman, hired John McHale to oversee the club's operation. The Expos moved to Olympic Stadium in 1977, and in 1979 achieved their first winning season with a record of 96-65, finishing 2 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates. Memorable moments in the team's history include Bill Stoneman's "no-hitters" in 1969 and 1972, the Expos winning the National League's Eastern division pennant in 1981, and the selection of Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Al Oliver, Tim Raines and Steve Rogers to play in both the 1982 and 1983 All-Star games. Between 1979 and 1983 the Expos attracted over 2 million fans annually, except for the strike-shortened 1981 season, and in that 5-year period earned the best overall winning percentage (.548) in the National League. The team remained competitive through the late 1980s and early 1990s, relying on young players to replace the aging stars and their large salaries. Attendance dropped substantially and placed additional financial pressure on the team. Bronfman sold the team to a consortium of Québec businessmen with government support in 1991 after rejecting several offers from buyers who would have moved the team out of Montréal. The Expos continue to be one of the least successful teams on the field and at the box office in the major leagues. Encumbered with having to play at the inconvenient and impersonal Olympic Stadium, and with ever decreasing fan support, their future in Montréal was bleak. Efforts to reinvigorate the team failed. In 2004 the team was relocated to Washington, DC, and renamed the Washington Nationals.
Links to Other Sites
Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter dies at 57
A CBC News story about the passing of former Montreal Expos star and Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter.
An illustrated timeline for the Washington Nationals baseball team that covers the period when the franchise was based in Montreal (the Montreal Expos). Click on the menu at the left to advance the timeline. A Major League Baseball website.