When a two-game exhibition series at Olympic Stadium drew 96,000 fans last year, the media took notice. Noting the low attendance figures long endured by teams such as Tampa Bay and Miami, they asked, Is it time for baseball to return to Montreal? Now that a second set of exhibition games, to be played this weekend, has sold more than 80,000 tickets, the clamor for an MLB franchise in the city has begun anew.
What better time to revisit the season that the fate of baseball in Montreal was sealed? Setting the events of the Expos’ summer of 2002 (when Major League Baseball voted to contract the team) against the backdrop of Montreal’s long-running urban rivalry with Toronto, David Luchuk tells the story of baseball’s departure from one of the largest cities in North America.
Or, for those who’d prefer to focus on happier times, and maybe the happy prospect of baseball’s return, check out Alain Usereau’s The Expos in Their Prime. As one reviewer put it, “This book proved to me that Montreal is, still today, a viable option for an MLB team.”