Thursday 28 August 2014

Book ~ "Up, Up, and Away" (2014) Jonah Keri

From Goodreads ~ The definitive history of the Montreal Expos by the definitive Expos fan, the New York Times bestselling sportswriter and Grantland columnist Jonah Keri.

2014 is the 20th anniversary of the strike that killed baseball in Montreal and the 10th anniversary of the team's move to Washington, DC. But the memories aren't dead - not by a long shot. The Expos pinwheel cap is still sported by Montrealers, former fans and by many more in the U.S. and Canada as a fashion item. Expos loyalists are still spotted at Blue Jays games and wherever the Washington Nationals play (often cheering against them). Every year there are rumours that Montreal - as North America's largest market without a baseball team - could host Major League Baseball again.

I enjoy baseball and going to Toronto Blue Jays games.  Gord read this book earlier this month and though I don't know much about the Montreal Expos, he said I'd probably find it interesting because it talks about what happened behind the scenes in baseball.

I found that it was indeed an interesting read.  It didn't sound like the Expos had much of a chance ... there was fighting and power struggles among the owners, lack of cashflow, a crappy stadium to play in, a crazy strategy to sell their better players to be able to buy more players that would either turn out to be awesome (and then be sold!) or not meet expectations, etc.  Yet they had stellar years.

It was a different time back then and there didn't seem to be any controls ... players would show up drunk or stoned.  They'd slide into bases headfirst even if they didn't have to so they wouldn't break the vile of coke they had in their back pockets!  Thankfully many got help and have turned their lives around.  There were many players who embraced their lives in Montreal and even took French lessons so they could speak the language and blend in.

The author spent a lot of time conducting many interviews including the former players, coaches, owners, broadcasters, etc. (the list is at the back).  It was obvious that he was a fan ... he'd grown up with the Expos from the time he was a kid. For the true fan, there are details about various games.

1 comment:

Masshole Mommy said...

Perfect for an Expos fan!!