October 14, 2004
Attended this game, primarily for the esoteric value of seeing the last game in the history of Les Expos. Additionally, there was all sorts of hoopla surrounding the retirement of Todd Zeile, which was nice, Zeile was certainly a consummate professional and a great team guy, but odd considering he spent a small percentage of his career as a Met. The team played well, mostly spurred by David Wright. Zeile went out in style, smashing a 3-run HR in his last AB. Many Expos fans were present, which is sad, because there were probably more of them in attendance at Shea this day than at any game in Montreal in the last 10 years. It's disheartening to think about what the franchise could have been, and how they never recovered at all from the strike in 94. It was over once they were bought out by MLB, who did nothing whatsoever to try to save Baseball in Montreal, and never gave them a chance to be fully competitive over a full season (low budget, inability to call up minor-leaguers in September, etc.) Baseball in Montreal will be missed, and it remains to be seen whether or not the Washington franchise (Senators? Congressmen? Lobbyists? Patriots? Flash? Obscurity?) can turn the corner of what was once a successful franchise that never put it together.
Overall, a nice game, good sendoffs for Zeile and probably Franco as well, and a victory to send Howe off into the sunset.
October 14, 2004
So the Expos lose to the Mets in their last game in history.
Well, the Expos won their first game in history when they beat the Mets on Opening Day 1969. I've been waiting for this one ever since!
November 28, 2004
The Mets bid farewell on (another) disappointing season and they bid farewell to fan favorite Todd Zeile. Now that Todd is part of the Hollywood community, in his farewell speech he started off by plugging his upcoming movie that he's producing and co-starring. And in "Hollywood" fashion, he hit a home run in his final at bat. How ironic that he ended his career with 2,004 hits.
The Mets possibly bid farewell to (Brooklyn's own) John Franco. Again the irony was he retired his final batter by having him pop out to catcher Todd Zeile.
And finally, the Mets bid adieu to the Montreal Expos, as they played their final game as the Montreal Expos. A great deal of Habitants came down from Quebec to say au revior to Les Expos. Some were glad to be part of history, some were irate, yet all were sad to see their Expos go, some even broke down. Even I, a staunch Mets fans who never liked the Expos felt a lump in my throat.
It's a shame that a nice city like Montreal is losing their baseball team. I went a couple of times to Montreal and had a blast at Stade Olympique (Olympic Stadium), except when the Mets lost. Nevertheless it was a thrill to see baseball history, a dark chapter, but still baseball history.
March 1, 2005
Game 162 of 2004. This looked like THE SEASON for the Mets- the season that would change it all. The Mets were going to be World Champs for a third time. The Mets had swept the Yankees and had gone on a streak and, now, it was all over.
This game was also special for three other reasons:
- I went to this game and it was the 5 year anniversary of the Mets win over the Pirates to bring them to game 163 against the Reds that would catapult them to the playoffs in 1999.
- It was the Expos' last game as the Montreal Expos. (They're going to be the Washington Nationals.)
- It was Todd Zeile's last game.
With all that in mind, I went to the game and watched the Mets destroy the Expos, including Todd Zeile hitting a HR in the last at bat of his career.
I felt a little bad for the Expos because I looked around the stadium and I realized the Expos had never had that many fans and maybe they would've if there was no strike in '94 and they had actually gone to the series. Oh well, the whole Washington thing won't work out and they'll end up going to Las Vegas.
December 22, 2005
If this was any other game on the last day of the season, and the Expos, Todd Zeile, and John Franco weren't playing thier last games, I probably would have declined to go and watched football that Sunday instead. But since I had waited about 3 years for Franco and the inexplicable control that he had on the front office when they made decisions to pack up and leave, I wanted desperately to go.
The Mets downed the Expos, and Todd Zeile had a homer in his last at-bat. Zeile isn't exactly my favorite Met of all time, but I always appreciated him since he was the only guy that stepped it up in that 2000 Subway Series. It was sad to see him go. He was a good clubhouse guy, unlike Franco. Don't let the door hit you in the rear on the way out Johnny! You did some great things for this team, but you more than wore out your welcome! See ya!
January 6, 2006
Zeile was not the first player to hit a homer for the Mets in his final MLB at-bat. Mike Cubbage did it at the end of the 1981 season, and Chris Jelic did it in his brief MLB career in 1990. I don't know about Cubbage, but in Jelic's case, he probably did not know it was his final MLB game.
December 12, 2006
Went to this game because I went to the first Expo game in 1969. Still have the tickets for both games. Left the first game when the Mets fell behind 11-6 and missed Duffy Dyer's pinch hit blast. Stayed for the entire last game and saw Zeile go out in style. Felt bad for the truly loyal Expo fans who travelled far to see the finale.
February 2, 2009
Can the SNY people find a copy of this historic game and show it as a METS CLASSIC as they have in recent weeks re-aired the 1988 NL East clincher, Piazza's Mets debut, and the '05 walk off win vs the Angels etc.....