I watched a lot of baseball, but for some reason, this is one game I never forget. I was staying with friends of the family in Toronto and it was the first time I was really proud to be an Expos fan.
The Montreal Expos, as you know, were the talk of baseball at this point of the season and had five all-stars named to the team: Ken Hill, Darrin Fletcher, Wil Cordero, Marquis Grissom and Moises Alou. The National League had not won the All-Star game since 1987 and were trailing in the ninth inning. Fred McGriff tied the game with a two run homerun to send the game into extra innings.
It was Alou who made all the difference in the 10th inning. After Tony Gwynn singled, Alou drove a double that sent Gwynn all the way home for the National League.
It wasn’t just the fact that the National League won the game or that Alou won the game or that Grissom homered or Hill pitched two scoreless innings. It was that NBC – the American channel that was broadcasting the game was talking about my favourite baseball team. Bob Costas was talking about the Expos.
I was just eight years old at the time and it’s something that sticks with me. I had never been that excited over one baseball game before. I had never cared about the playoffs or a World Series game. This was as big as it got for me and it has stuck with me through all these years.
This won’t be the last time that this list will focus on 1994 but this game is probably the beginning of my love affair with baseball. It’s when I realized what baseball was capable of and what being a fan of the Expos meant. It was probably the best I’ve felt after a baseball game. It’s on a list with Game Four of the 2012 NLDS as a Nationals fan when Jayson Werth it his walk-off home run for games that had a spotlight on them.