It’s the 50-year anniversary of the Montreal Expos’ inaugural 1969 season, and already the 15th season since the franchise relocated to the nation’s capital in 2005, and for the first time on Saturday the Washington Nationals wore the old bleu, blanc, et rouge to celebrate Expos Day in Nationals Park, and they invited one of the all-time great players from the eMb days to throw out the first pitch.
Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero appreciated the invitation and the Nationals’ decision to recognize the history of Nos Amours by wearing throwback uniforms after they’d already added some Expos to the Ring of Honor in Nationals Park in previous seasons.
“It’s a franchise with a lot of history,” Guerrero said, via translator Octavio Martinez, before the Nats and Kansas City Royals, one of the other four franchises that joined Major League baseball in 1969’s expansion, played in D.C. on Saturday afternoon.
“There were a lot of good years there and a lot of good players went through there, and it’s always one of those things, you want the teams you played for to still be recognized. It was a great franchise and now that they’re completing their 50-year anniversary, they asked me to come out and throw out the first pitch, so that’s very exciting and I’m very happy about that.”
Poder latino desde Washington. Dios bendiga a estos jóvenes con gran talento y futuro. || Latin power from Washington. God bless these young players with great talent and future.#VG27 pic.twitter.com/eztwkAViRC— Vladimir Guerrero (@VladGuerrero27) July 6, 2019
There were a lot of good players to go through the franchise, as he said, like Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, El Presidente Dennis Martínez, Randy Johnson, and Pedro Martinez, among many others, and Guerrero was one of the best, with a .323/.390/.588 career line in 1,004 games for the Expos and a 162-game average of 37 doubles, 38 home runs, and 114 RBIs over his eight seasons in Montreal.
After another eight seasons in the majors with the LA Angels, Texas Rangers, and Baltimore Orioles, Guerrero was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2018.
Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez, who played four seasons with the Expos between 1988-91 and put up a .279/.324/.401 line with 50 doubles and 23 HRs for Montreal, told reporters today, as quoted by MLB.coms Jamal Collier, that it was, “kind of weird because we haven’t worn it in so many years,” but wearing the powder blue uniforms agains, he said, was “neat.”