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If the Giants had moved to Toronto would the Expos still be in Montreal?

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  • If the Giants had moved to Toronto would the Expos still be in Montreal?

    This popped into my head tonight seeing the Jays play the Giants. The Giants were a list minute bid from Bob Laurie away from moving to Toronto. Even under the old set up if the Toronto Giants had been in the west the balanced schedule would have had 12 or 13 Montreal-Toronto games a year. Would that have saved them?
    Last edited by aqib; 06-19-2010, 12:41 PM.

  • #2
    Tough one. I’m not so sure. San Francisco had the chance to have a Mayor who involved himself a lot to find buyers just in a matter of weeks right after the announcement was made that the Giants were moving. In Montréal, the city and the federal and provincial governments were still ready to help the team financially but not more than that. Yes, Montreal and Québec were share-holders until the end; yes, they were ready to help with the new stadium. But among other things, IMHO, the Expos would have needed extremely strong political will action, and commitment like the Giants benefited from in the winter of 1977. But our beloved elected ones seemed to have other priorities...
    Last edited by Chicoutimi CP; 06-19-2010, 09:52 AM.
    « But what's puzzlin' you is the nature of my game... »

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    • #3
      No I mean if the Giants were in Toronto would the Montreal-Toronto rivalry have saved the Expos franchise.

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      • #4
        With all the franchises that moved to other towns in MLB since the 50s, I guess a few of them did despite being involved in a rivalry that went on for years or decades with another team. So my best guess is that it wouldn't have. That's just a hunch though.
        « But what's puzzlin' you is the nature of my game... »

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Chicoutimi CP View Post
          Yes, Montreal and Québec were share-holders until the end
          The provincial government was never a shareholder, and the city of Montreal sold its share before the end.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Chicoutimi CP View Post
            With all the franchises that moved to other towns in MLB since the 50s, I guess a few of them did despite being involved in a rivalry that went on for years or decades with another team. So my best guess is that it wouldn't have. That's just a hunch though.
            I don't know. I think the hype around those 12 games a year (pre-realignment) and the division rivalry once they would have been in the same divison would have taken fan interest to another level.

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            • #7
              I don't think it would have made much difference. What did the Expos in wasn't so much the lack of fan interest, that comes and goes (and it went big time in the end, I know). But the downfall of the Expos ultimately was the absence of commited ownership, ready to invest money into the team after Charles Bronfman left. So every time you are faced with a "Would the Expos have stayed in Montréal if..." scenario, the real question is: Would it have convinced someone who not only had deep pockets but who was ready to spend some of that money on the club, to come forward.

              So if the question is: Would the Giants moving to Toronto, thus providing yearly Toronto-Montréal series starting in 1977, would have motivated a commited owner to step forward and keep the Expos in Montréal... I don't believe so.
              From now until the end of September, I'll be chronicling in real time on Twitter the 1946 season of the International league's Montréal Royals, when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball. Check it out: https://twitter.com/Royals_46season

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