Sure, the two-game series between the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets in Montreal on March 28th and 29th is only an exhibition series, but it is going to feel like baseball is once again a real dream in Montreal. It is only fitting that the two games will feature tributes befitting of a regular season game.
According to the following tweet from Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, they will be special tributes indeed.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) March 11, 2014
It is fitting that Gary Carter would be given his own special night. The first inductee to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown wearing a Montreal Expos cap, “The Kid” made his name in an Expos uniform and this series was the opportunity to pay tribute to the first legend the team ever spawned. In 12 seasons with the Expos, Carter was worth 46.1 wins above replacement (FanGraphs), slashing a smooth .269/.342/.454 with 220 home runs and 823 RBI in 1503 games.
Sadly, Carter will not be around to receive this honor, as he passed away in 2012 at then age of 57, the victim of brain cancer.
Of course, Carter has his Mets ties as well, having spent five years in New York, but this day will be all about Montreal celebrating the life of their kid, their hero.
On day two, the greatest team to ever grace the Olympic Stadium carpet will get their just desserts. At 74-40, the 1994 Expos had the best record in baseball when the players’ strike resulted in the cancellation of the season on August 11, 1994. No post season and no World Series meant no chance for the team to prove just how far it had come with their young core of players. With a line-up that included the likes Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom, Moises Alou, and Wil Cordero and a pitching staff featuring Ken Hill, a young Pedro Martinez, Jeff Fassero, and a filthy John Wetteland, there is no telling if this team was primed to make serious noise in the post season.
Needless to say, those clambering for a return of baseball to Montreal will certainly get what they are hoping for. It will feel like the real deal, at least for two days in March, but what a glorious two days it will be.