Hudson writer keeping Expos history alive and well
Book signings this week, weekend
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: email@example.com.
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.