Diehead fans of the Montreal Expos may be the most loyal you'll find in sports. Almost ten years after their beloved team left them behind and moved on to Washington D.C., fans still haven’t forgotten, in many cases refuse to let go, and thanks to the a group called Expos Nations, are now lobbying to bring baseball back to Montreal.
In hopes of bringing attention to their cause, nearly 1,000 of those Expos fans made the trip to Toronto on Saturday afternoon and took over a section of outfield seats either decked out in Montreal merchandise or holding something bearing their signature logo.
They were loud. They were boisterous. You honestly couldn’t miss them even if you tried. And they only had one goal they wanted to accomplish.
“Our goal is to celebrate the history of the Expos and show that there is still a viable market for it,” said Matthew Ross, who runs the website Expos Nation and helped organize the trip.
Nearly a decade after the Expos left town, there is a small but growing movement to bring a team back to the city. The possibility has become a recurring topic on local talk radio shows and has even influenced Montreal street fashion.
It’s no accident the group chose to attend a game featuring the Rays, one of the baseball’s more troubled franchises, Ross said.
Based on the turnout and the energy they created, I'd say they achieved their goal. And in other good news, they did manage to get the attention of the Rays.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 20, 2013
That's one way to start building a new relationship. Maybe they’re on to something here. Then again, maybe they’re not. But at the very least Expos Nation is keeping the dream alive, and that’s half the battle right there.
Another big part of the battle? Getting Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper on board.
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) July 20, 2013
In reality, it's an extreme long shot, but you cannot fault their intentions or their passion. They may not be a large group overall, but you won't find any with deeper or stronger loyalty.
Big BLS H/N: For The Win