I was thinking today about the Padres long lost, not-identical twin brother. Even though they were born at the same time, they have always been far apart. He's gone through a big move and a major change in his life, and is currently outshining the Padres.
Remember the Expos?
Born the same year as the Padres (1969), the Expos have become a forgotten franchise. After producing many stars (who later went on to huge success on other teams) and memories (probably?), the club left Montreal and headed for Washington DC. To try to scrape off every last trace of anything that might hint at their past, they were re-named the "Nationals", as if they had been there all along. But we all know that even though they live in DC, they'll never be able to be the president. They're foreigners. You have to be born in America or Kenya to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
But what's this? The whole time that they were living in Canada, there was a foreshadowing of things to come: The red, white, and blue uniforms!
Ok, long rambling aside, I was thinking about the Expos and thought I'd dig through my stack of cards from that team, and realized that there are some pretty great players that have passed through the Great White North.
First up, our favorite catcher, Danniel! Okay, so the only reason I know of Dann is because of the post I wrote about him at the beginning of the month, based on his Padre card from 1991. Who knew I had so many Bilardello cards? I guess I'm a collector of his now...
Okay, here's a catcher that is probably more known that Mr. Bilardello. I have a bunch of Grissom cards, because I thought it was cool how similar our first names sounded (Marquis v. Marcus). Less of a fan once he left Montreal and joined the Braves, Dodgers, and Giants, among others. Eew.
Love the powder blue unis! Plus, Spike is currently the manager of the Round Rock Express, the Rangers AAA team that's less than an hour from where I live. I love this "Rookie Threats" card, easily my favorite Expos card of all time. Delino DeShields, Marquis Grissom, and Larry Walker. 'Nuff said.
Anybody watching the College World Series? Cal State Fullerton has a pretty good team, although they were eliminated before they could get to Omaha. I went to CSUF for a year. Good school. Tim Wallach won the Golden Spikes award in 1979 while playing at CSUF, the award given to the best college player. Had a pretty good career at the pro level as well.
Finishing it off with Dennis Martinez. I became a fan as soon as I heard that his nickname was "El Presidente. And as soon as he threw a No-Hitter. And as soon as I saw that 1994 Topps Stadium Club card. Watch out!
Anyways, next time you see the Nationals, think of the Expos. And Dann Bilardello.