It has been a long 10 years, but baseball finally returned to Montreal, at least for a few days. Canada’s team, the Toronto Blue Jays, announced in the fall that they would be playing a few exhibition games at the end of spring training at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. Baseball Fans throughout Ontario, Quebec, and eastern Canada Rejoiced.
Those fans arrived in hordes this past weekend to see the Jays take on the Mets in the very stadium where the Expos once played. It is clear that the city misses having a team. Thousands upon thousands showed up wearing the Expos’ signature powder blue. The Blue Jays and Baseball Canada paid their respects to the Expos with a moving ceremony dedicated to the late, great Gary Carter on Friday night, and a reunion celebrating the 1994 Expos.
Over 100,000 fans watched the Jays win both games, causing many to forget that these weren’t even regular season games. The games gave Jays fans confidence that they’ve been craving all spring that the team will be just fine this upcoming season. The energy in the stadium was electric, and provided some of the younger players with the most dynamic setting they have had the opportunity to play in thus far.
I’m really sad that I wasn’t able to go, but thankfully, I was able enjoy the series from my couch at home. This series showed the MLB that Montreal is still a viable baseball city.