Thursday, April 21, 2016

"Expos"ing Something Different

I normally talk about the Jays. After all, they are the only major league baseball team based in Canada. However, I also enjoy talking about Canadian players and the other major league team we had until they became team 11 to call Washington DC home. That team, of course, is the Montreal Expos. 

I think today I'm going to highlight the 1977 team. I've covered the 1977 Jays in some respect earlier this month, so it ties in.. Besides, there are a few cards that have players from both teams on them. 

First let's highlight the team photo card. I love these things. The team was photographed in front of the scoreboard in Jarry Park. 


Two players I've highlighted here before: Woodie Fryman and Ellis Valentine. 
From the looks of it these two photos were taken at Spring Training. I don't know why but I really like the look of the 1977 cards.


Tim Foli had played for the Expos from 1972-1977. He was traded in April 1977 to San Francisco. He kicked around the Majors until 1985. 

Jose Morales played for the Expos from 1973-1977. He was back in the minors with Montreal in 1984. He was, according to some, a master pinch hitter. He was asked in his final season of 1984 how he kept prepared despite not playing the field since 1977 and he answered that the time gets you to understand the game at a higher level. 
After his playing days he coached in the Majors with San Francisco and Cleveland.


Bill Greif is an interesting one here. He never appeared for the Expos. His final major league season was 1976 with the Cardinals. In a way, the photo looks like it could have been an airbrushed Cardinals photo. 
According to his bio from SABR, he lost the passion to play when he was traded to the Expos due to issues with the health of one of his children. The Expos released him March 30, 1977. He tried making a comeback in 1978 with the Tidewater Tides, the Triple A affiliate of the Mets, but found he still didn't have the desire to play competitively. He went into real estate afterwards.

Chip Lang played for the Expos in 1975 and 1976. He spent 1977 between the Double A team in Quebec City and the Triple A team in Denver. He last played in 1979 for the Shelby Pirates.


Pete Mackanin played for the Expos from 1975-1977. He played in Philadelphia and Minnesota after the Expos. 

Bombo Rivera played for the Expos in 1975 and 1976. He spent 1977 in Denver before going onto Minnesota, Kansas City, and Japan. 


Pepe Frias played for the Expos from 1973-1978. He then played for Atlanta, Texas, and Los Angeles. 

Earl Williams played for Montreal in 1976. He was in Oakland for the 1977 season. 


I've highlighted Dale Murray here before as well. He played for Montreal from 1974-1976 (Spent 1977 in Cincinnati) then 1979 and 1980 with Montreal before going to Toronto. 

Don Stanhouse played for the Expos from 1975-1977. He played for Baltimore and Los Angeles afterwards. 


Two of the more popular Expos here with Gary Carter and Steve Rogers. 
Carter played 1974-1984, then again in 1992 with the Expos. He had his number retired by the team (there is a banner at the Bell Centre with the Expos' retired numbers. The Montreal Canadiens placed the banner once the Expos moved)
After his playing career ended, he went into Broadcasting and managing in the minors. He passed away in 2012. 

Steve Rogers played his entire career with the Expos, 1973-1985. 
From his bio from SABR:
The pitcher’s career with the Expos got off to a bit of a rocky start thanks to a cranky Canadian customs agent. When Rogers drove up to the Canadian border, the customs agent knew who he was, but told him he needed to produce his signed contract or he couldn’t enter the country. Not surprisingly, Rogers didn’t have any documents from the Expos, so he was forced to return to the United States.
Enter an American customs agent who was understandably curious about why Rogers was returning to the US. When Rogers explained his situation, the helpful agent told him about another, smaller border crossing down the road that he could try. Rogers drove to the other location only to find another ever-diligent Canadian customs person who called the original crossing, came back and gave Rogers an earful. Rogers had to spend the night in Plattsburgh, New York, 60 miles from Montreal. He was able to enter the country the next day. What followed was one of the most remarkable rookie seasons in baseball history.


Joe Kerrigan is now better known for his work as a pitching coach for the Expos and Red Sox. As a player, he was an Expo from 1976 to 1977. He then played for Baltimore. 

Mike Jorgensen played for the Expos from 1972-1977. He then played for Oakland, Texas, Atlanta, St Louis, and the Mets.


Dan Warthen played for the Expos from 1975-1977. He also played for Philadelphia and Houston. 

Del Unser played for Montreal from 1976-1978. He played for Philadelphia after the Expos. 


I've featured both these cards on here before. In both cases, they have an Expos player and a Jays player. Of the two on the first one, Andre Dawson was slightly better than John Scott. 

Sam Mejias played for the Expos in 1977 and 1978. 


Larry Parrish played for the Expos from 1974-1981. He then played for Texas and Boston. 

Jerry White played for the Expos from 1974-1983, with a time with the Cubs in 1978. He was traded to the Cubs in June 1978 for Woodie Fryman. In December, he was traded along with Rodney Scott for Sam Mejias.


Don Carrithers played in Montreal from 1974-1976. He spent 1977 in Minnesota. His photo looks like it was taken in Wrigley Field. Rather difficult to tell with the fuzzy background.

Dennis Blair played for the Expos from 1974-1976. In 1977 he split it between the Triple A Affiliates of the Expos and the Orioles. 


Barry Foote played for Montreal from 1973-1977. He also spent part of 1977 with Philadelphia. He finished his career by playing for the Cubs and the Yankees. 

Dave Cash played for the Expos from 1977-1979. Again, the photo looks like an Airbrush job or a Spring Training photo. 

So that's the 1977 Expos as shown by Topps. I really like the style of the card, though I do find the backs tough to read. 

I may do more of these in the future. :) 

1 comment:

  1. Nice review - the backs are really nice as the colours "pop" well but can still be easily read.