The Tampa Bay Rays went to Toronto this past weekend. So too did a whole lot of Expos fans, remembering the past and hoping for the future:
A crew of Montreal Expos fans, willing to do just about anything to get their team back, has driven to Toronto to watch the Blue Jays. Organizers say about 1,000 Expos supporters, hoping to attract the attention of baseball’s movers and shakers, packed into the outfield bleachers at the Rogers Centre on Saturday for the Blue Jays game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
The trip was organized in part by Matthew Ross of Expos Nation, who is committed to getting a team back in Montreal. He’s not alone in that desire. The Prime Minister is on board too:
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) July 20, 2013
Montreal once supported the Expos quite well compared to many other teams in the league. And at 3.9 million or so, it’s the 15th largest urban agglomeration in North America and would be the 13th largest in Major League Baseball if it re-entered the league. It’d be the 9th largest single-team urban center.
Obviously it has other cultural, historical, commercial and media challenges than a lot of current baseball markets. And it strikes me that Major League Baseball would be loathe to go back to Montreal for a number of reasons any time soon (not to mention Montreal’s presumed lack of desire to give MLB the time of day after what MLB did to it a decade ago). But it does seem like, in the long term, Montreal makes all kinds of sense for baseball.
Maybe it will happen in 20 years. I hope it happens in my lifetime.