Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Montreal Expos: And Then There Was One

Before the Washington Nationals had Bryce Harper roaming the outfield of Nationals Park and before the team had an ace starting pitcher with one brown eye and one blue eye the team played their games in Canada, Montreal to be exact. The Montreal Expos were once the team that gave teams like the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets fits in the National League East before making the move to Washington before the 2005 season. As the Nationals organization gets older the original players that once donned Expos uniforms begin to become fewer and farther between until we reach just one, Bartolo Colon.

Bartolo Colon of the New York Mets is now the final active member in Major League Baseball to ever wear a Montreal Expos uniform. And then there was one but until a few days ago there was two, the other being Maicer Izturis of the Toronto Blue Jays. Izturis announced his retirement this week after signing a minor league deal with the club because his body couldn’t do it anymore.

Colon turns 43-years old in May and is four years older than Bruce Chen, another former Expos pitcher who last pitched in 2015, and is seven years the elder of Izturis. Colon pitched a half-season with Montreal in 2002 after the Expos acquired him from the Cleveland Indians at age 29. By the way, in return for Colon the Indians were able to pry away a lefty named Cliff Lee, an infielder named Brandon Phillips and an outfielder named Grady Sizemore. No wonder the league wanted to contract the Expos.

Also as an FYI one of the last Expos to ever be drafted is still around as well, Ian Desmond. Desmond will spend the 2016 season with the Texas Rangers after the Expos drafted him. Desmond did not make him MLB debut until the team had already moved to Washington under a new team name.

Colon is still a very serviceable Major Leaguer and still a valuable piece of the New York Mets so who knows, we may still be talking about the last man standing in a Expos uniform five-to-ten years from now. I hope so anyway!

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)