Hud­son wri­ter kee­ping Ex­pos his­to­ry alive and well

Book si­gnings this week, wee­kend

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Bill Young and Dan­ny Gal­la­gher will be two ve­ry en­thu­sias­tic fans chee­ring the re­turn of Ma­jor League Baseball to Mon­treal this Fri­day and Sa­tur­day when the New York Mets meet the To­ron­to Blue Jays at the Olym­pic Sta­dium.

The hot-ti­cket MLB pre­sea­son game will he­rald the first time pro­fes­sio­nal players have re­tur­ned to the Belle Pro­vince since the Mon­treal Ex­pos left for Wa­shing­ton in 2004.

Young, a Hud­son re­sident, and Gal­la­gher, from To­ron­to, have twice tea­med up to chro­nicle and do­cu­ment the his­to­ry of their be­lo­ved Ex­pos. Their first book, Re­mem­be­ring the Mon­treal Ex­pos, which was self pu­bli­shed in 2005, was a swee­ping look at Ex­pos from the time the fran­chise was es­ta­bli­shed un­til it left for Wa­shing­ton.

Well re­cei­ved, the book made the Mon­treal Gazette’s best-sel­ler list for se­ven weeks.

In their ne­west book that was re­lea­sed in De­cem­ber, Ecs­ta­sy to Ago­ny: The 1994 Mon­treal Ex­pos; How the best team in baseball en­ded up in Wa­shing ten years la­ter, Young and Gal­la­gher have del­ved in­to sa­cred ground for a team that has spe­cial sta­tus in the world of ma­jor league baseball.

“The 1994 (Ex­pos) team has al­most de­ve­lo­ped a my­thic au­ra,” Young ex­plai­ned of the hard to touch team that was well on its way to a playoff spot when the baseball strike was cal­led on Au­gust 12, 1994.

“The se­cond book starts in 1989 and sets the stage for how the Ex­pos in ’89, ’90, and ’91 were as pa­the­tic as any team but how they be­came so good in ‘94, the year of the strike,” Young said.

With the sea­son ir­re­pa­ra­bly doo­med, the team and fran­chise were ne­ver able to re­co­ver from the fi­nan­cial hit and conse­quences of the strike.

Young says baseball ana­lysts still re­fer to the ’94 Ex­pos team and its players, who went on to do great things for other teams.

The au­thors ti­med the book, boas­ting more than 60 chap­ters that fol­low the chro­no­lo­gy and flow of the team’s his­to­ry, to be re­lea­sed 20 years af­ter the 1994 team suf­fe­red its fate.

Tal­king to the best

Young and Gal­la­gher played to their strengths while wri­ting Ecs­ta­sy to Ago­ny. Gal­la­gher, a wor­king jour­na­list, was com­for­table conduc­ting in­ter­views while Young, a for­mer tea­cher and col­lege ad­mi­nis­tra­tor who was al­so the foun­ding exe­cu­tive di­rec­tor of the Green­wood Centre for Li­ving His­to­ry in Hud­son, did much of the book’s ex­ten­sive re­search. For his part, Gal­la­gher in­ter­vie­wed key fi­gures from the ’94 Ex­pos team in­clu­ding: Ac­ting MLB Com­mis­sio­ner Bud Se­lig, team ma­na­ger Fe­lipe Alou, Pe­dro Mar­ti­nez, Mar­quis Gris­som, Den­nis Mar­ti­nez and Dave Van Horne.

Gal­la­gher al­so spoke with Jef­frey Lo­ria, who Young cal­led “the villain of the piece.

He pur­cha­sed the (Ex­pos) club in 1999, and in 2002 sold it to MLB so he could pur­chase the Mia­mi Mar­lins, which he still owns,” Young said.

Young spoke with Ex­pos Part­ner Claude Bro­chu, ow­ner’s part­ner­ship mem­ber Mark Rout­ten­berg and Lar­ry Wal­ker, who Young calls “the best Ca­na­dian player ever.”

Bill Young will be si­gning co­pies of Ecs­ta­sy to Ago­ny to­mor­row be­gin­ning at 5 p.m. at Chap­ters, in Pointe Claire, while Gal­la­gher will be at Pa­ra­graphe Book Store on McGill Col­lege at the same time. And both au­thors will si­gn books du­ring a spe­cial ban­quet ta­king place af­ter Sa­tur­day’s game.

Ecs­ta­sy to Ago­ny: The 1994 Mon­treal Ex­pos is avai­lable at most Chap­ters and Indigo stores across Ca­na­da, and on­line. Co­pies can al­so be or­de­red by cal­ling 289-200-8448, or 416-535-7738, or by sen­ding an email to: ex­pos94­book@ya­hoo.ca.

PHO­TO COUR­TE­SY OF BILL YOUNG

Hud­son re­sident Bill Young, (left) and co-au­thor Dan­ny Gal­la­gher with Mon­treal Gazette re­por­ter Ste­pha­nie Myles, have writ­ten a new book on the Mon­treal Ex­pos.

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