Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Baseball's "Savior"

The very moment the name Sonia Sotomayor popped up as a serious candidate to replace retiring Supreme Court Judge David Souter--I knew that name. There was something special about this lady and sports that I just couldn't quite remember, but I knew it was big.

Didn't take long to refresh the old noggin and find out.

In 1995, as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York, Ms. Sotomayor issued an injunction against Major League Baseball's Owners effectively ending the longest work stoppage in professional sports history. The lockout that decimated the 1994 Season, cancelled The World Series--and without anyone really understanding at that time--put in motion all the issues and subsequent problems for baseball in Montreal.

The Expos were Baseball's Best Team in 1994, drawing consistently over 2 million fans per season--and Canadian's never forgot what Major League Baseball did to them. The long drawn out saga of The Montreal Expos was just beginning. A climax that resulted in relocation and resurgence of Baseball, across an international border, In The Nation's Capital of The United States.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama this morning to become the first person of Hispanic decent and third woman to sit on The Highest Court In This Land. She's a fan of baseball, some publication's called her Baseball's "Savior" back in 1995. But even her attempts to save The Great Game back then, couldn't help the Franchise now known as Our Washington Nationals.

AP Photo--Pablo Martinez Monsivais


SenatorNat said...

Plus, there is a Puerto Rico connection with both the nominee and the Expos!

As Supreme Court Justice, her salary shall permit her to purchase the best seats in the house at Nationals Park, but not Yankee Stadium, so this should all work out if she is willing to switch allegiance.

Trust in the wisdom of nine playing together. All supreme.

Smirkman said...

The Expos drew 2 million+ only 4 times. It is a myth that the 1994 strike ruined baseball in Montreal as they drew 1.6 million in 1996 which was roughly their 10 year average. Baseball was ruined in Montreal by local and subsequent ownership and their persuit of a new ballpark or relocation in Jeff Loria's case.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Smirkman--no it's not a myth, what the strike did was put a whole series of circumstances in motion that eventually led to The Expos demise. Claude Brochu--sold off all his best players after the strike, the team struggled financially, poor ownership, stadium issues, it got worse and worse. If The 1994 Strike does not happen, the Expos are a completely different team and things might have turn out better for baseball in Montreal. There is no doubt about that. It was a good baseball town that got sick of being taken for granted by MLB, Ownership and Politics.

Smirkman said...

I agree that the 1994 strike set some things in motion but evidenced by their attendance in 1996 (first full year after strike) it was not the primary cause of the attendance decline. Perhaps the greed of ownership to get a new stadium following the success of Skydome and Camden Yards, or the costs of free agency had more to do with turning the fans off than the strike. The strike was used as a crutch post 1996 to explain away Montreal's real problems. If the strike occurred and the Expos had strong ownership and a decent stadium the team would have continued to draw their slightly below mediocre attendance for the foreseeable future. Please explain the 1996 attendance. I have nothing against the Expos and their fans as our fans haven't exactly come out in droves, but the town didn't really support the team except when they were exceptional. I can't call them supportive or a good baseball town that had bad circumstances thrust upon them from the strike. Other primary factors caused attendance to dip from bad to pathetic (the numbers prove it).

Screech's Best Friend said...

We are saying much of the same things, but in a different way. The fans were always supportive--they lost interest over the indifference of others.