April 4, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; MLB commissioner Bud Selig in attendance before the opening day game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Top 10 Montreal Expos Memories: No. 3 – 1994

This is cheating a little bit. I don’t really remember much about the 1994 season. But, it doesn’t matter. I needed to mention it. I was a Montreal Expos fan. I was alive. I need to have this included.

But whenever I think about 1994, two things immediately come to mind. One was when the strike hit and I was watching a small black-and-white television in my kitchen seeing Cliff Floyd try to explain that he expected the games to get back soon.

The other was a game I attended on July 24. The Expos beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-4 to hold a 1.5 lead on the Atlanta Braves. Rondell White had all seven RBIs for the Expos in one of his monster games in a career that often gets forgotten due to his many injuries.

Kirk Rueter got the win and John Wetteland pitched 1.1 innings to get the save. Former Expos Tim Wallach, Delino DeShields and Mitch Webster played for the Dodgers.

I don’t really remember the game – Baseball Reference fills in the gaps. What I remember vividly was after the game. Sitting on the third base line, in the yellow seats the scoreboard showed the National League East standings. In first place, a full game and a half ahead. The crowd, already standing for the win, kept standing. And cheering.

This was the only time I experienced a first place team in Olympic Stadium. I mean there might have been games in April where they were in first but nothing like this. Nothing like the feeling around this team. And nothing like the feeling of the rug getting picked up from under a kid who had just turned nine two days earlier.

I always say that August 1994 was the worst birthday I ever had knowing that the strike ended the season on the 12th. I’m sure nine year old me didn’t fully realize what was going on that day. 28 year old me definitely looks back and appreciates what I had.

I always tell people that I was more upset at the 1994 strike than I was when the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup about a year earlier and it’s the truth. I played baseball. That was my game. That was my sport. And 1994 was something I couldn’t truly understand at the time. Now, I know better. And thanks to books that have come out since, I understand what happened almost 20 years ago.

This top 10 is mostly about happier days. This one was a necessary evil. I still get emotional thinking about it. I say that I was born at the worst possible time for a baseball fan. Born in 1985 – after the glory days – and too young to fully appreciate baseball in my city before 2004. But in a way, it may have let me love baseball just a little bit more.

Tags: Montreal Expos

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