In 2004, Montreal couldn’t save the Expos. Mistakes, a lack of vision, and a long – too long – list of disappointments added up to a situation that was beyond rescue. Fast-forward ahead nine years to today and the city is in a rather unpleasant situation of its own. Scandals, corruption, and dirt dominate the headlines and paint an ugly picture. But not all hope is lost. The Expos can save Montreal.
I have witnessed the healing power of baseball many times over. It’s a game that cuts through divisions – there’s only one language in baseball and it’s called Baseball. It’s a game that lifts us up from tragedies, helps us to forget our fears. Baseball is all about second chances. If you strike out in your first at-bat, you get a chance to redeem yourself your next time up. Baseball is all about hope. If your team falls short of winning the pennant one year, the promise of “next year” kicks in. I am happy to report that the spirit of baseball has not completely faded from Montreal – far from it! I saw the game work its magic firsthand on June 15, at the inauguration of Gary Carter Field at Parc Ahuntsic.
When he was my teammate, Gary Carter’s joy was contagious. You could feel it once again at the naming of the field in his honor. To see all those kids wearing The Kid’s number 8 was a sight to behold. His daughter Christy was right when she said, “I think he’s up there, just totally smiling down.” Baseball brings important, special moments like this one to a community. Sandy Carter put it best when she said, “Bring baseball back.”
Regarding where we stand, I am very pleased with the way things have been going and I am very pleased with the way the general population and the business community have responded to our initiative. While work on our study is still ongoing, initial results are very encouraging. Montreal wants baseball back. We expect to have all results in hand by the end of this year. This journey keeps getting better.
Our city could use a boost of civic pride right about now. A second chance is in order. That’s why I truly believe the Expos can save Montreal. And, as the slogan goes, “Montreal wants baseball back!”