by Ray Bergman
Game 20 - Expos vs Dodgers at Olympic Stadium
August 27, 1996It's a 340 mile drive between Toronto and Montreal. Highway 401 is straight and the trip took forever because of confusing highway signs, rain and construction along the way. But here I am, ready for my next Dream Game. If I only knew how to speak French I could get around a little easier, but it's fascinating hearing the ballgame in a different language and trying to read the French scoreboard. I met three friends in Montreal who treated me like royalty. Eli, Robbie and Peter were kind enough to act as my tour guide and escorts for the evening. These guys were real baseball fans. If all Canadians are like this, then I'll adopt Canada as my second home! They were very willing to point out that the Montreal Metro is the largest underground subway system in the world and are very proud of their city, their Baseball team and the stadium where the Expos play.
I was happy for their company and provided them with my extra ticket for the game. We were all able to sit together about 30 rows up, right behind home plate to watch the Expos and the Dodgers. Thanks guys, your company made for a memorable experience I'll never forget as I persue my Dream.
Le Stade Olympique (the "big owe" as it is referred to by the locals) is your typical domed stadium. However, this one has some differences. For one, the roof is made out of Kevlar, the material used in bullet-proof vests. The roof at one time was removable, but that has not happened lately and now it is permanently in place. The lighting (and tracking the ball) is the best I have seen in all the domed stadiums thus far. The Jumbotron, although not nearly as large as the one in Toronto, provides an extremely sharp picture. The Stadium has two main seating levels with a sky box level in between. The Stadium has right and left field bleachers and a totally open area in center field. The dimensions are symetrical and all advertisements are in French. However, the announcements are in both French and English.
There is a huge food court area as you enter the stadium with French foods of all kinds. My escorts strongly recommened I try the "Poutine," which consists of french fries with gravy and cheese served in a large cup. It was very good and quite filling. If ever at a ball game in Montreal, put this on your food list.
Oh, yeah! There was a game tonight.
It was Tommy Lasorda night here in Montreal. Tommy played for the Montreal Royals, a triple "A" team in Montreal before the Expos entered the National League in 1969 along with the San Diego Padres. Hideo Nomo started for the Dodgers, and Jeff Fassero for the Expos. The Expos scored first in the third with one run but the Dodgers came back in the fourth with a two run homer by Greg Gagne. The Dodgers then added two more runs in the fifth to take a 5-1 lead. Nomo was in several jams but was able to pitch out of them and the Dodgers hung on to win 5 to 1.
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© 1996 by Ray Bergman. Reproduction of all or any part of "My Baseball Dream" without the written permission of Ray Bergman is prohibited.
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