I know, I am a lot of game late for the blog. But I wanted first to talk to you about a visit that I did last week in my own town(!). I visited the Olympic Stadium of Montreal. As you may know, Montreal hosted the Olympics game in 1976 and use this event to built a new stadium that was supposed to be revolutionary… So my day started near the Jackie Robinson statue just outside the stadium.
Robinson played for the Montreal Royals, the farm club of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 30s and 40s.
From this side,this was a view of the stadium.
Our guide briefly talked to us about the Olympic in Montreal and the opening and closing ceremony. It was really basic stuff but,hey what are you expecting for 5 bucks!
We then entered where the seats are situated. I immediatly noticed something quite interesting; you still can see were the home plate and the bases were located in the field,even after almost 10 years since the last ball game!
These are the luxuous seats located just behind home plate,a little bit like Anaheim and Cleveland nowadays.
In the time that we were in(about 10 minutes) I took about 50 pictures. Here’s the roof that was changed since the Expos left(It’s now blue,not yellow).
A panorama of the entire stadium(and believe me it’s GIGANTIC)
Some pictures of the seats(more than 56,000 in the big O,witch is more than Dodger Stadium).
A great section just behind homeplate to catch foul balls(If ever the Blue Jays decide to play an exhibition game at Montreal…)
And finaly a picture just behind the former home plate. I was thinking about all the great players that stood there over the years(Carter,Rose,Dawson,Raines,…) and I felt great vibe in this place…
And just before exiting, i took an image of the main entrance:
I know what you think ”This place sucks big time!”. But,you know, I think it wasn’t THAT bad. I mean, maybe it’s because it was in my own town,but I really felt that a part of my city’s history was there.
After that, I headed to the Montreal’s Tower wich is the 175 meters tower tha is supporting the stadium’s roof.
It’s actually the tallest inclined tower in the world. It have a 45 degrees angle wich in enormous.You can see one of the incline in the next picture:
You can get up there for about 10 bucks. I believe it’s the only observation deck in Montreal. Downtown is about 2 miles away.
Here’s the Saputo stadium,home of the Montreal’s Impact,the soccer club actually playing in the MLS. Behind the stadium,you can see ”Les Habitations Olympiques”,the place where the athletes were staying during the 76′ games.
You also have a great view of the roof from up there!
If you ever get the chance to come to Montreal, you absolutely have to make a stop at this place. It’s a part of Montreal’s history and one of the most special bulding in the world. That’s where so many Grey Cups were held in the past years,and were great bands like Pink Floyd performed. Also if you know, even just a little bit about baseball,this place will remind you the great players that once called this place ”Home”.
Earlier this day, I went to another great sporting event in Chicago. Football? No. Soccer? No. Hockey? Well,almost!
It was the Stanley cup parad and there was like a ZILLION people in the streets. I was affraid that a lot of them were going to say ”Why not go to the ballgame tonight?”,a ballhawking nightmare! Look at that! It was just crazy!
Ok,ok. Baseball now! Before this game(well,the doubleheader), I was always wondering why the White Sox are considered as a second-class team in Chicago behing the Cubs. Well, I kinda get my answer… I arrived two hours before the first pitch. When I got in line, an employee told me ”Don’t wait in the sun like that(Because it was like 100 degrees), the gate won’t even open before another hour.” WHAT? I was really bothered about it! Why don’t they open at 5h30 as they usually do? Well, that wasn’t even the worst thing. After an jour, there was like 3-4 hundreds people in line at the only gate that was going to open for the game(Why,White Sox?!?!). Suddently the rain started,not only a little rain. It was a flood. The employee, dry inside the gates were looking at us and doing nothing at all(and all that was 45 minutes before first pitch). After 10 minutes of rain,they let us in and at least,i was the first in line.
I ran to the left field bleacher,the best spot to catch ball in all THE MLB. I found my first ball of the day in a puddle. It wasn’t an official MLB ball(damn) but at least, I wasn’t blanked. I looked at the right field bleachers,and i saw a white dot. People were already coming in close to it, but I decided to go look. And that’s what i found:
Great success! But there was no BP (plus a lot of people in the stands)so I knew that my chances for a third ball were during the game.
During the first game of the doubleheader, i was running for the third-out ball each inning,but it just wasn’t happening. It was always thrown to my right or to my left. In the six inning, I decided to look around the stadium. I went to the upper deck and took this picture.
I don’t really understand why people don’t like this stadium. It’s not gorgeous as PNC Park Or Camdens Yard,but at least,it isn’t a copy of another stadium like a lot of the ballpark that have been built since 1992.
I went back down in the bottom of the 7th inning, and tried to get the warm up ball of Mark Reynolds. And he threw it to me! Third ball of the game,first warm-up ball ever! Soon,the first game of the doubleheader was over and there was a break for 20 minutes. A men from Chicago saw that I was wearing an Expos jersey and talked to me. It was already 10:30 and i had to leave at 11:00. So by the time the game started,it was 10:45 and I knew that I probably only going to see the first inning. I noticed that the first baseman was now Nick Swisher. I decided to try to have his warm up ball of the first inning. He saw me, threw directly at my glove and…another fan with a blackhawks jersey in his 30’s pushed me and took the ball. Seriously? I didn’t wanted to argue with him but i was really pissed. All the section was booing him,but he kept the ball…At least I wasn’t blanked,and i had already gotten a warm up ball. But still… Even with that sad event,it was another great day/night at Chicago!
*Streak of one game with at least a ball
*10 balls this season.
*10 balls in 7 games this season = 1,42 average ball per game.
*13 total MLB ball.
*13th Stadiums in my life.(Rogers Centre,Orioles Park,PNC Park,Great American Ballpark,Chase Field,O.co Coliseum,Dodger Stadium,Petco Park,Citizens Bank park,Progressive Field,Comerica Park,US Cellular Field and Miller Park)
Check out more at: http://www.mygameballs.com/baseballdata?db=MtlExpos
Yesterday,one of the candidate to the job of the Montreal’s Mayor,Richard Bergeron declared that a stadium could be built in downtown Montreal by 2020. Really? Well it really could be an option for the MLB. In fact with all the struggle that the Tampa Bay Rays,Miami Marlins and Oakland A’s are living,Montreal could be a great place to relocate these teams. Since December 2012,a group named Projet Baseball Montréal (Montreal Baseball Project) are trying to convince the business community to invest for a new stadium,and eventually a ball club. The new Stadium would be situated downtown Montreal (Picture).
It would be part of a new neighborhood,along with between 5000 and 8000 new homes.
With the few images that i’ve seen,i think the stadium would look a lot like the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.
So what do you think about that? Is it a great idea?
Let’s just hope(at least for the people of Montreal) that it could be the beginning of a new dream,a major one.