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Old
07-31-2006, 12:58 AM
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ark1 View Post
Yup, I remember being on a Montreal vs Atlanta game in August 94 and there were ~55000 people.
So I searched for this series... I figured you'd be exaggerating a bit as Expos fans always exaggerate how good their attendance was during the good days. There was no Braves series in August, but there was in July so I assume you meant that one.

Here were the three crowds for that series:

45,291
40,623
45,960

While good, the Expos simply were never, ever able to draw that massive crowd which all the good baseball markets are able to draw. It's just a sad reality, but perhaps people in Montreal just didn't care quite as much as people here seem to think.

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07-31-2006, 01:01 AM
  #52
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The Expos couldn't even sell out their home opener in '94. I mean come on...

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07-31-2006, 01:30 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Guy Legend View Post

I hate to see devoted fans lose their team.
1000 devoted fans at best

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07-31-2006, 01:45 AM
  #54
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1000 devoted fans at best
No 10,000.

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07-31-2006, 02:32 AM
  #55
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Originally Posted by DaHabsRule View Post
Did the Expos ever draw like 50,000 for a game during a season? As in a game that wasn't the home opener? Not a question to sound like an ***, just wondering...
Dude, have you seen the Jays attendance as of late? They haven't done so great either. We all know everyone would go to Jays games in Toronto if they were consistantly winning, so what makes you think they wouldn't have gone in montreal if the team had a fully functional ball park?

The jays are in no threat because they have a good facility, a local owner and a tv/radio.

A few things I think you should know. Olympic Stadium didn't even have 50,000+ seats for baseball. Montreal actually wanted baseball! Look back at history, these are the people who showed up to watch Jackie Robinson play, these are the same people who brang MLB to Canada. Toronto wanted a franchise after montreal got theres, but before that there was no interest in it. Infact, if you dig deep enough you'll find quotes from the locals saying they prefer Football to baseball. Meanwhile, people in Montreal prefered Baseball.

I am what you would call a Baseball nut. I know the history of this game inside and out (in both countries). Although I am huge Jays fan, I will openly admit that Montreal is a far better Baseball town that Toronto. The Jays had a few things going for them such as being in a Division with the Yankees and Red Sox, playing in a great location in the heart of downtown Toronto and ofcourse winning world series. What did montreal have? A crap facility, read some MLB books and listen to interviews of people who have played there! They hated with a passion and they felt bad for the fans. The expos closest geographical rivals in the NL were who? The Milwaukee Brewers? NY Mets? Where was this big useless stadium built? In the middle of nowhere!

When all these things add up do you blame the fans for not showing up in droves to see a team that was basically a AAA team feeding other teams with talent? Ever watch the movie "Major League" well, that was a parody that actually happend, but it wasn't the Cleveland Indians, but rather the Montreal Expos.

Will montreal ever get a team back? I don't know, but if they do it won't be while bud selig is around. The Nationals will fail in washington and honestly what are there chances of succeeding now when that city has lived without baseball for decades. Two teams didn't survive there and that was at a time where Baseball was still king in america, Football has taken that title now. They will stay in washington simply because they got a new Stadium. That's the same reason minnesota is still going to be around... because they are getting a new stadium.

Montreals going to have to want it bad enough, like they did in the 50s and 60s, and a stadium deal with local ownership if they ever get a team back. That's pretty much every city though and that goes for all sports. I don't believe that the Marlins, Tampa Bay or even Baltimore (presuming washington will still be around) will be around in the coming decades.

Sure the fans could have done more, and I am sure a lot of people now feel differently about the team, but back then took it for granted. Obviously baseball could have worked there if was around for 36 years. The whole thing was a mess in the last decade of the expos, but team relocation happens. Hopefully people learn from it and pay attention because one day a team can be gone overnight and to use the tired cliche "You don't know what you've got until it's gone." Right now 14 teams aren't even breaking 30,000 what did you expect from expos fans?


Last edited by TorontoSports: 07-31-2006 at 02:39 AM.
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Old
07-31-2006, 04:25 AM
  #56
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Ummmm that'sgreat and all, lovely read. But answer me one question. When did I say Toronto was any better?

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07-31-2006, 06:42 AM
  #57
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Originally Posted by DaHabsRule View Post
Ummmm that'sgreat and all, lovely read. But answer me one question. When did I say Toronto was any better?
The lesson is that if at some point Toronto is judged to need a facility, and ownership decides baseball isn't a synergy business for them, MLB could make things ugly in a hurry. It hopefully will never happen. Your group has deep pockets and are in the right business to absorb loss. Portland's not warning you, he's explaining that you can put the attendance figures away and telling a story of cause and effect. So it's a bit more than a nice read.

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07-31-2006, 06:52 AM
  #58
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not if you don't like the jays.

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07-31-2006, 06:55 AM
  #59
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Originally Posted by PortlandRanger View Post
What happend to labatt park or whatever? How come that didn't go through? Also it does hit harder a few years after team's leave.
It's a long story and there's so much conjecture that if I tried to tell it in some chronological order, I'd misinform you.
I believe that when Claude Brochu arranged the local consortium to buy the team, at preferred terms, the message was 'Don't worry guys, we won't have to invest another penny, no matter what. He had a finder's fee deal in his left hand while taking the keys from Bronfman with the right. It's probably more complicated but I believe Brochu always had the 'move south' option open. They devalued the team locally by making no effort to even speak to the talent. They put no effort into making the stadium even staffed, it was a zoo from 95 'til the end. When Loria got involved, Brochu got his payoff, and Selig couldn't decide whether to contract or include Loria in his franchise swapping deal involving the them Marlin owner somehow acquiring the Red Sox despite not being high bidder.

Labatt Park ? I went to the reception showing the model, chatted with Dave Van Horne,shook hands with Rondell White. It was a possibility if gov't came thru in a big way. There was an incident, at least one, involving MLB and the Qc govt., that led MLB to believe that they could not influence or bully a sweetheart deal. Private eneterprise had to prevail and Qc corporations haven't invested in sports for a long time. Brochu did the dog and pony show and figured if $ came his way, fine, but one way or the other, his payoff was coming.

I imagine books will be devoted to the scam, I'll probably buy one, but it'll be smoke and mirrors.

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07-31-2006, 08:52 AM
  #60
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Originally Posted by DaHabsRule View Post
So I searched for this series... I figured you'd be exaggerating a bit as Expos fans always exaggerate how good their attendance was during the good days. There was no Braves series in August, but there was in July so I assume you meant that one.

Here were the three crowds for that series:

45,291
40,623
45,960

While good, the Expos simply were never, ever able to draw that massive crowd which all the good baseball markets are able to draw. It's just a sad reality, but perhaps people in Montreal just didn't care quite as much as people here seem to think.
Thanks for the correction, but they were as loud as a 55k crowd.

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07-31-2006, 09:00 AM
  #61
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The new stadium thing, wasnt that supposed to be built near the bell center?

For sure that the lockout and the selling of the team to Loria hurt the expos big time.

but we have to remember that montreal is a city who likes their team WHEN they win.

If the expos had been a competitive team year in year out, im sure fan support would of been greater.

But let's face it. Baseball is dull. dull dull dull. It's nearly as dull as golf.

You can disagree all you want, but the majority of people will agree.

People are nostalgic. They remember the better days. But in the end, interest for baseball in montreal just dwindled to nothingness. Montreal's a hab town. And now an Alouettes town (easily 50k in crowds). Baseball has been dead for a looooooooong time in Montreal.

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07-31-2006, 09:49 AM
  #62
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Anyone can confirm this (or im just idiot) but at Expos game one time it only had... 130 fans on the whole Stade Olympiques ? I think I heard that somewhere

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07-31-2006, 12:24 PM
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The n00b King © View Post
The new stadium thing, wasnt that supposed to be built near the bell center?

For sure that the lockout and the selling of the team to Loria hurt the expos big time.

but we have to remember that montreal is a city who likes their team WHEN they win.

If the expos had been a competitive team year in year out, im sure fan support would of been greater.

But let's face it. Baseball is dull. dull dull dull. It's nearly as dull as golf.

You can disagree all you want, but the majority of people will agree.

People are nostalgic. They remember the better days. But in the end, interest for baseball in montreal just dwindled to nothingness. Montreal's a hab town. And now an Alouettes town (easily 50k in crowds). Baseball has been dead for a looooooooong time in Montreal.
sure baseball is dull when you're team is horrible. Ever follow baseball when your team is about to win the pennett? It's ok though, If you want to be narrowminded about sports that's your calling, I am not going to say anything.

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07-31-2006, 12:39 PM
  #64
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sure baseball is dull when you're team is horrible. Ever follow baseball when your team is about to win the pennett? It's ok though, If you want to be narrowminded about sports that's your calling, I am not going to say anything.
You can't argue preference and you can't legislate attention span.

Even in the US where the game is more of a deep rooted tradition, I get the impression they sell the spectacle as much as the game now. I believe most cities have a core group who go because they love the game. They watch and notice if the CF cheats a few steps more when a junk ball P is throwing or can sense the count they'll put the hit and run on. These fans find the wave an irritant and the game is enough. There are less and less of these though, and MLB is finding a different core. Gambling and fantasy leagues have been a big deal I believe.

I feel alienated from the game now, esp. at the major league level. I'd prefer to watch a loacl Jr. team to be honest.

Did you hear the list MLB sponsored of the 5 greatest players from each franchise ? For Mtl. / Wash. they included Brian Schneider,Livan Hernadez,Gary Carter,Jose Vidro, and I forget who the 5th was. Anymore reasons needed to take BUD sponsored stuff less seriously than re-writing history ?

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07-31-2006, 12:47 PM
  #65
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Originally Posted by DaHabsRule View Post
Problem is, that nearly never, ever happened. Look at the Expos historical attendance numbers. It simply never happened with ANY sense of regularity. Thus, no more team.
That's right. It happened only when they were winning. But you can't realistically expect fans to keep showing up when the competition has all the money.

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07-31-2006, 12:56 PM
  #66
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Originally Posted by DaHabsRule View Post
Did the Expos ever draw like 50,000 for a game during a season? As in a game that wasn't the home opener? Not a question to sound like an ***, just wondering...
absolutely. I will dig the numbers up, but the place could seat 50,000 plus before changes were made. I went to a memorable series against Pittsburgh when La Grande Orange made his return. They almost drew 150,000 to a 3 game series as i recall. But hey, in satts I will trust, let me look it up.

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07-31-2006, 12:59 PM
  #67
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I found some old archive footage. Check it out!
Click here

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07-31-2006, 01:04 PM
  #68
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absolutely. I will dig the numbers up, but the place could seat 50,000 plus before changes were made. I went to a memorable series against Pittsburgh when La Grande Orange made his return. They almost drew 150,000 to a 3 game series as i recall. But hey, in satts I will trust, let me look it up.
I was there. Friday night doubleheader against the Pirates, which they unfortunately lost. Rusty coming to the plate in the 2nd game was something I won't forget though.

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07-31-2006, 01:04 PM
  #69
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I found some interesting info on wikipedia, the GM of the Expos said that in 2003 we were as good as the Marlins that year, the eventual World Series Champs (remember the Expos were in a 5-way tie for the Wild Card on August 29th) and MLB wouldn't allow September Call-Ups for the Expos which send the team a message...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Expos
Quote:
Led by Vladimir Guerrero, the 2003 Expos were part of a spirited seven-team Wild Card hunt. On August 28, they found themselves in a five-way tie for the lead with Philadelphia, Florida, St. Louis, and Houston. However, MLB, led by Bud Selig, in what ESPN's Peter Gammons called "a conflict of interest," decided that it could not afford an extra $50,000 to call up players from its minor leagues. The budget was some $35 million. All teams have this right around the end of August. This doomed any hopes of reviving the franchise. Omar Minaya, the General Manager, later said, "Baseball handed down a decree. They would not be allowed to call up players from the minors on Sept. 1 like every other team in the game, as it was deemed too expensive. They would have to make do with what they had. The heart went out of the Expos that day. "It was a message to the players," Minaya said. "It was a momentum killer." He also stated: "They're a tough group of guys. You cannot ever forget 2003; they were as good as the Marlins, who won the World Series. But nobody knows this because nobody saw Montreal in 2003. What killed us was not getting the call-ups."

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07-31-2006, 01:10 PM
  #70
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Yep

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Originally Posted by Dogbert View Post
The Expos were my favourite professional sports team. I followed them religiously since I was four years old, and they were the reason I took up baseball in the first place... and when they moved, it was the reason that I quit playing. I wasn't able to be there for the last home game, but I watched it on the Score, and I bawled like a baby when the game ended, and for hours afterwards.

As far as the team's demise goes, you should blame Brochu and Loria for driving the fans away and gutting the team time and time again. You should blame Selig for not caring enough about the team to prevent the farce that occurred in the 2000s. Hell, you could blame Parizeau, Bouchard and the PQ for trying to make all of the Anglos leave Quebec, because that little stunt cut into the Expos' fanbase deeply. Whatever you do, though, don't blame the fans, because it was us who kept the bloody team around as long as it was.
I will agree with most of what you are saying. I won't get involved with Anglo crowd thoughts.

Clearly Loria and Brochu were big parts of the problem. Losing an owner who cared like CB was huge. But when free agency became a reality and CB saw the direction things were going, he got out of Dodge. And I can't blame him really.

On the other hand the league has been catering to the Steinbrenners etc and crapping on the small market teams forever. Georgie baby made everyday players cost an arm and a leg by distorting the pay structure. The solution of allowing these teams to get draft compensation for losing free agents was really perverse. Not only did the small market teams have to pay an arm and a leg just to sign them, they could seldom keep them after starcom was achieved.

The coup de grace came with MLB and Loria in collusion (that is exactly what it was) to make a financial killing. Since we are north of the border, Selig did not have to worry about state or federal gov't intervention. Or court injunctions for that matter. The MLBPA was the only thing that stopped Selig from contracting the 'spos.

Killing the club was a group effort. And fans did play a part. But not the biggest part. The support was there until selloffs began. Support better than a lot of other clubs still in the league.

For example: The Expos outdrew the Yankees in 3 of the first 4 seasons playing in 27,000 seat Jarry Park. The Spos outdrew SF almost every season for 18 yrs. The Expos in their short tenure in MLB outdrew all Washington attendance for all total years they had a team (of any kind) by a wide margin.

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07-31-2006, 01:11 PM
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Yep

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Originally Posted by mcphee View Post
I was there. Friday night doubleheader against the Pirates, which they unfortunately lost. Rusty coming to the plate in the 2nd game was something I won't forget though.
I was there too. Tight series! He flew out to the warning track in right field as I recall with men on base. It was LOUD. Imagine if he put it over the fence!!!!!

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07-31-2006, 01:30 PM
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I was there too. Tight series! He flew out to the warning track in right field as I recall with men on base. It was LOUD. Imagine if he put it over the fence!!!!!
I'll correct you just a bit JR.HF in that it was a mile high pop up to short right. He just got under it, the noise made it sound like it was up against the wall though. At least, I think so.

I've told the story before, but I worked at Jarry Park in 70 and 71. Stadium vendor in 70 and popcorn maker extraorinaire in 71. Anyone in the bleachers that year ate my popcorn, and most survived. The team was deeply ingrained in me. My buddy who worked with me and who spent a good part of the summer of 69 with me at the games, met me before the last home game. We sat there and realized that we weren't going to go. We didn't need to, the memories are and will be intact and MLB can ......themselves. A few beers at Magnan's instead. Long ride home that night though.

So, yeah, Rusty Staub,Mack Jones,Coco Laboy and co. are more than names in history books to me. I can't tell the stories as many wouldn't get by board rules,but it was a helluva first job.

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07-31-2006, 02:41 PM
  #73
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Originally Posted by DaHabsRule View Post
So I searched for this series... I figured you'd be exaggerating a bit as Expos fans always exaggerate how good their attendance was during the good days. There was no Braves series in August, but there was in July so I assume you meant that one.

Here were the three crowds for that series:

45,291
40,623
45,960

While good, the Expos simply were never, ever able to draw that massive crowd which all the good baseball markets are able to draw. It's just a sad reality, but perhaps people in Montreal just didn't care quite as much as people here seem to think.
In the pennant race in '79, here are some of the September home date attendance figures. Please also note the peculiarity that in that Month Montreal was involved in 8 scheduled double headers, of which 4 were at home.

Home:
Against Astros: 30,410; no data; 25,064
reds: 34,820; 42,752; 41,096
Mets: 48,366; 14,064 (afternoon game)
Cubs: 33,910; 15,121; 19,108
St Louis: 48,459; 59,282
Pittsburgh: 54,609; 56,976
Phil: 40,303; 50,332; 50,824

Games on the Road that same month:
At Wrigley: 9,000; 14,767
At Busch: 19,782; 28,434; 46,351
At Atlanta: 6,757
At Mets: 4,973 doubleheader!; 4,229 another double header next day
At Phil: 35,186; 26,507
At Pittsburgh (team in race against the Expos!):47,268; 31,348; 42,043

So as for "massive" crowds? 59,282 does not qualify?

Look at the games in Pittsburgh who won the series that year. The main opponent in town and P'burgh draws about 121,000 in 3 dates. At home Montreal drew almost 112,000 in 2dates!

Look at the attendance for the Mets games in Shea. two double headers. Less than 10,000 for two total Double headers. Less than 5,000 per DH!

Atlanta at less than 7,000

A supreme ball city like StL: 100,000 over 3 games.

Wrigley? 9,000 and 14,000 ???

So let us not be saying that we did not large crowds with a good team. And when comparing to other cities, especially Pittsburgh, lets not be too critical about getting fans to see a good team. Pittsburgh won the series that year.

The support was there by Expos fans. Certainly more than in keeping with other cities.

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07-31-2006, 02:47 PM
  #74
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Yep

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Originally Posted by habs911 View Post
I found some interesting info on wikipedia, the GM of the Expos said that in 2003 we were as good as the Marlins that year, the eventual World Series Champs (remember the Expos were in a 5-way tie for the Wild Card on August 29th) and MLB wouldn't allow September Call-Ups for the Expos which send the team a message...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Expos
I remember that season well. I followed the Spos to the west coast that year.

No call ups allowed to save money

No "home games" where Montreal was tearing it up with the best home record in baseball. Instead, games in san Juan. Almost a month on the road including San Juan

Clamps put on the club for making deals. And essentially reversing some already made.

Hey, the fix was in that year. MLB could not have hobbled that team any more than it did. The players were really pi$$ed at Selig for that.

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07-31-2006, 02:51 PM
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He He

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Originally Posted by mcphee View Post
I'll correct you just a bit JR.HF in that it was a mile high pop up to short right. He just got under it, the noise made it sound like it was up against the wall though. At least, I think so.

I've told the story before, but I worked at Jarry Park in 70 and 71. Stadium vendor in 70 and popcorn maker extraorinaire in 71. Anyone in the bleachers that year ate my popcorn, and most survived. The team was deeply ingrained in me. My buddy who worked with me and who spent a good part of the summer of 69 with me at the games, met me before the last home game. We sat there and realized that we weren't going to go. We didn't need to, the memories are and will be intact and MLB can ......themselves. A few beers at Magnan's instead. Long ride home that night though.

So, yeah, Rusty Staub,Mack Jones,Coco Laboy and co. are more than names in history books to me. I can't tell the stories as many wouldn't get by board rules,but it was a helluva first job.
Well the mind does play tricks. I really do not think it was short right but it was a mile high one for sure.

We are talking about Rusty's first home at bat after acquiring him, right?

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