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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Today in Baseball History: The first non-U.S. MLB game in history is played in Montreal

Today in baseball history — on April 14, 1969 — the first major league game outside the United States was played. It took place at Montreal’s Jarry Park with the expansion Montreal Expos defeating the defending N.L. champion St. Louis Cardinals 8-7. Mack Jones was the offensive hero for the Expos, driving in five and hitting the first home game home run in Expos history. Nelson Briles got shelled for the Cards, coughing up seven runs.

That game was just one of 162 that season so we’ll let it slip back into history for the time being. Let’s talk now about this history of this quaint little ballpark in Montreal.

The minor league Montreal Royals had a number of forerunners, but the modern club began play in 1928. They were purchased by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1939 and served as one of the team’s multiple Triple-A affiliates, which was not necessarily weird at the time. It was their most successful affiliate too. Under Dodgers’ management, the Royals won seven International League championships and three Junior World Series titles — a playoff between the International League and the American Association — between 1941 and 1958. Most famously, in 1946, Jackie Robinson joined the Royals and led the team to a Junior World Series title in advance of his breaking baseball’s color barrier one year later. Those couple of decades of glory ingrained baseball into the fabric of Montreal but, after declining in the 1950s, the Dodgers eliminated the Royals as one of their affiliates in a streamlining move.

City leaders, most notably Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau, hungered for baseball to return. They missed out on the 1962 round of National League expansion but they successfully applied for a new club in late 1967, to begin play in 1969. Which was wonderful. Except, um, where in the heck was this new team supposed to play?

The story of a team, a city, and the stadium that came to be less because it was appropriate and more to keep Buffalo from getting the team at the last minute.


QLE Posted: April 15, 2020 at 12:45 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: canada, history, jarry park, montreal expos

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Blue Jays games will be blacked out on MLB.TV in Canada

Canadian MLB.TV subscribers received an email yesterday that informed them that Blue Jays games will no longer be able to be streamed live on the league’s streaming service. Those wishing to stream Jays games will now need to subscribe to Sportsnet NOW, a streaming service provided by the broadcasting network that carries Jays games on television.

As Andrew Stoeten wrote in The Athletic, Canadian subscribers were unable to view the Jays live on MLB.TV until the mid 2010’s, when the restriction was lifted. MLB.TV subsequently became a popular purchase for Canadian fans.

Sportsnet is owned by Rogers Media, which also owns the Jays. Clearly this is meant to be a moneymaking opportunity for Rogers, but it’s remarkably shortsighted and petty.

Sportsnet NOW comes at a comparable price to MLB.TV, but it doesn’t carry the whole league. By encouraging fans to subscribe to MLB.TV. you also encourage them to check out baseball as a whole and grow love of the game. And for those fans who are already avid MLB.TV watchers and enjoy the full scope of baseball, they now have to shell out for a second streaming service that isn’t on as many devices as the app they already use.

A consideration of the issue of blackouts- I suppose I am fortunate in that the ones in my neck of the woods are reasonable.


QLE Posted: February 23, 2020 at 12:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blackouts, blue jays, broadcasting, canada,



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