Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper wants to win a World Series, but not just for his current home. He also wants to honor Montreal Expos fans with a title.
In 2004, the Montreal Expos played their last game. They moved to Washington and became the Nationals, bringing with them a team that hadn’t had much success. Sure, the Expos had some magnificent players put on their uniform, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Randy Johnson and Vladimir Guerrero, but they never made a true run for a World Series. The closest they got was in 1994 when the season was cut short by a players’ strike. The Expos were 74-40 when the rest of the season was cancelled.
“We’d love to win it for all of those people.”
Today, the Expos are not talked about often besides the occasional exhibition game played at their old ballpark in Montreal. But one of the brightest stars in the game hasn’t forgotten about the former Quebec-based franchise. Bryce Harper, possibly the best player to play for the organization after their move to the nation’s capital, wants to win one for both the fans in Washington D.C. and the fans north of the border.
"“I want to win it so bad, not just for the fans of D.C., but for the fans of Montreal as well. That’s what people forget sometimes. It’s not just D.C., but the Expos organization."
He goes on to mention some of the talent that had been produced in Montreal.
"“People forget how good those teams were in Montreal. Look at all of the studs they drafted that came through the organization. Randy Johnson. Cliff Lee. Delino DeShields. Marquis Grissom. It’s crazy to look back to see how good those teams were and what could have been."
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Harper has some pretty good knowledge of the franchise that came before his (even if he has some major omissions in the talent he named). The fact that Harper and the Nationals would “love to win it for all of those people”, is unexpected. From a baseball fan’s perspective, especially an Expos fan that still has a hard time letting go, it is exactly what you want to hear.
A unique situation for a forgotten fan base.
Harper and company have a pretty good shot at making the playoffs with the roster they have in a division that is less that stellar. After these comments, Harper may have some Expos fans on board to follow a run that could help ease the sting of the strike shortened 1994 season. If you weren’t rooting for the Nationals before, this makes it a little easier.
As for Bryce Harper, he is still one of the most disliked players in the league. He is overly vocal and plays with a fire that rubs people the wrong way. While many Montreal Expos fans may have become Washington Nationals fans, that doesn’t mean all of them did. With Harper’s comments about winning for the Expos fans, he extends an invitation to the ones who didn’t follow the team after the move. He may have gained some fans of his own north of the border in the process.