After the Expos were sadly and unceremoniously sent packing, the question was often asked to me, “Will you pull for the new, naturalized Nationals?” Given the petty, pathetic, paltry amount of Expos fans that remained to begin with, I doubt Montrealers migrated their support to Washington.
I myself became a baseball atheist as I simply followed baseball — albeit casually — for its own sake. Until recently that is. It suddenly dawned on me on which team to support.
How can one not admire the New York Yankees and their tradition of excellence? As a Montreal Canadiens fan this should be a natural fit but for some reason I couldn’t make the jump. The Boston Red Sox were tempting since I have been to Fenway but again I wasn’t sure. Though I did pull for them in 2004. In both cases, both cities happen to be on my favorite list and both are superb sports towns.
The St. Louis Cardinals were also under consideration. Another great sports city possibly the best baseball fans — not to mention a winning baseball heritage. But the Cards were Expos killers in the 1980s. I still have nightmares from all those losses. So I scratched them for all the sleepless nights they provided me when I was a kid.
Cubs? Tigers? A’s? Reds? All were legitimate candidates. In fact, I wouldn’t mind if any of them were to win the World Series.
Just when I was about to throw in the towel it suddenly hit me — The Los Angeles Dodgers.
If one traces back the lineage of the forgotten Expos it all leads back to the Dodgers organization. The Montreal Royals was the farm team for the Brooklyn Dodgers back in the 40s and 50s.
I have always felt there was a special bond between Brooklyn and Montreal as baseball towns. Both were hard luck baseball towns in that there always was a team in their way — Yankees, Cards, and Braves for example. Ebbett’s Field was not that different from DeLormier Downs or Jarry Park in some ways in terms of fan and player interaction.
I’m not crazy about the city of L.A. proper but I have been and loved Dodger Stadium. It’s a great place to watch baseball. Dodgers fans rank, in my opinion, just as high as Yankees, Reds, Cubs, Red Sox and Cardinals fans. Even though they leave early to beat the traffic. Ah, those fickle West Coast types.
Still, history binds the two. Which leaves me with one thing to say: Go Dodgers!