Expos fans boo Selig during his speech
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. It would have been much better for Bud Selig if he hadn’t been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on the same day as former Montreal Expos star Tim Raines.
Selig, who was MLB commissioner for the demise and eventual death of the Expos, was greeted by more boos than cheers when he was introduced, most of the disapproval coming from the busloads of fans who made the trip from Montreal.
When Selig started his speech, Montreal fans tried to drown him out with chants of “Let’s go Expos!” while one shouted, “Go back to Milwaukee!” A group of fans wearing Expos jerseys turned their backs to the stage for the duration of Selig’s speech.
At one point in his speech, Selig said the 1994 strike — which came when the Expos had the best record in the majors — was “the most painful experience of my life.”
That brought more boos and chants of “Let’s go Expos!”
Selig was also celebrating his 83rd birthday Sunday.
Selig was the third of the five new hall of famers to speak, following former Atlanta Braves general manager John Schuerholz and former Houston Astros star Jeff Bagwell. Former Texas Rangers catcher Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez spoke after Selig, followed by Raines.
Raines’s speech was the longest, lasting just over 33 minutes.
There were 50 players already in the Hall of Fame in attendance and they were all introduced at the start of the induction ceremony, including Andre Dawson, one of three players to enter wearing an Expos cap, along with Gary Carter and Raines.