The Montreal Baseball Project is responsible for a lot of the nostalgia surrounding the Montreal Expos in recent years and have just announced their new Gala for 2015 which will see Expos greats Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, Rusty Staub and Andres Galarraga honoured as well as legendary broadcaster Jacques Doucet.
The Montreal Baseball Project started back in 2011 when Warren Cromartie, a former player with the Expos, was approached by people coming to Montreal asking where they could see some Expos things in the city. Cromartie didn’t have an answer and wanted to change that.
“We are a Major League city,” Cromartie said. “We have close to three million people which is one of the biggest markets in North America without a Major League team.”
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The MBP has held several conferences and studies about the feasibility in Montreal and is working hard behind the scenes to build the infrastructure to show Major League Baseball that they have what it takes to host – and keep – a team. Cromartie and his team are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that they are ready when the opportunity comes to court a team relocating or if baseball decides to expand.
“We’ve been stressing patience,” Cromartie said. “But we’re making sure that when the opportunity presents itself we have all of our t’s crossed and i’s dotted. We know we have a very small margin for error our second time around.”
Cromartie went on to say that Montreal is not in a unique spot. Baseball has already left and returned to several markets including Milwaukee, Seattle and Washington all of which lost baseball once before – in Washington’s case, twice.
He also mentions that it’s a different world than when the Expos left 10 years ago. There is now revenue sharing, the revenue the league gets with its MLB Advanced Media as well as the Canadian dollar being much closer to its American counterpart.
As well as planning for the future, Cromartie says that the gala’s main goal is to maintain a presence with the Expos in the city and the community and he says that his relationship with past players is something that he cherishes.
They hosted their first gala in 2012 when Gary Carter passed away. This year, when the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets played two Spring Training games, Cromartie hosted a gala remembering the 1994 Expos who were then honoured before the Saturday game. Cromartie was part of the festivities before the first game when his former teammate Gary Carter was honoured.
Tickets are now available for the Gala, which will be held on April 1 at the Hyatt Regency. Tickets include a dinner and VIP cocktail with the invited guests.
More information can be found here.