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Expos spirit lives on in Quebec City

Quebec CapitalesThere’s still a Canadian ballpark where the retired numbers of the Montreal Expos are displayed — but it’s in Quebec City at Municipal Stadium, home of the Quebec Capitales (independent; Can-Am League).

The right-field wall at historic Municipal Stadium features the three numbers retired by the Expos — #10 (Gary Carter), #10 (Andre Dawson and Rusty Staub) and #30 (Tim Raines) — and elsewhere in the ballpark is a Quebec Baseball Hall of Fame.

In fact, the ballpark hosted the annual ALS Quebec’s Celebrity Softball Game, an affair heavy on former Expos that was played at Montreal’s Jarry Park (the actual park, not the former Expos ballpark). Former Expos Tim Raines, Pedro Martinez, Moises Alou and Denis Boucher were on hand to raise funds for ALS Quebec, a nonprofit dedicated to defeating Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Of course, with so many former Expos on hand at a ballpark housing a Can-Am League team — the independent league that’s worked toward putting a team in Montreal — the subject of the future of baseball in the city was a prime topic. There’s been talk about a group working to bring MLB back to Montreal in what will be a billion-dollar endeavor, but the consensus seems to be that until some money is on the table, it’s nothing more than a pipe dream. Former Expos broadcaster Jacques Doucet was guarded in his comments — “Until we have a business group with a business plan, I don’t really want to comment further” — while Alou was more upbeat.

“I know that when we won, the fans came,” he told the Montreal Gazette. “The Latin players loved playing here. I think it could work again in the future.”

RELATED STORIES: Brochu: No way MLB returns to Montreal; Return of MLB to Montreal draws debate — mostly negative; More MLB dreams in Montreal; Montreal capable of suppporting MLB — if there’s an owner with deep pockets


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