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Franchise Timeline

  1. 1969-1979
  2. 1980-1989
  3. 1990-1999
  4. 2000-Present
  1. 1969-1979

    Original Montreal Expos team photo

    Named after Expo 67, the World's Fair held in Montreal two years earlier, the original Montreal Expos squad reported to camp in the spring of 1969.

    1968 May 27: The National League awards two expansion franchises for the 1969 season. The cities of Montreal and San Diego become the newest members of the senior circuit. Montreal business executive Charles Bronfman of the Seagram's distilling empire is the front man for the new team.

    1969 Feb. 24: The full Expos' team reports to Spring Training for the first time ever at West Palm Beach, Florida.

    First Expos game

    Apr. 8: The Expos play the first game in team history against the Mets at Shea Stadium and win 11-10. Lefthanded reliever Dan McGinn hits the first home run in team history in the 3rd inning off of Tom Seaver.

    Apr. 14: In Montreal, 29,184 fans watch the Expos play their first home game at Jarry Park and beat the Cardinals 8-7 in spite of Dal Maxvill's grand slam against Larry Jaster. Mack Jones' three-run homer is the offensive highlight for the home team.

    Bill Stoneman

    Apr. 17: The two-week old Expos record their first no-hitter. Bill Stoneman blanks the Phillies 7-0 at Philadelphia.

    June 25: Bob Bailey and Bobby Wine execute the first triple play in Expos' history. The feat is accomplished at Jarry Park as Vada Pinson hits a liner to first baseman Bob Bailey, who steps on first for the second out then throws to shortstop Bobby Wine at second base for the third out.

    1972 Oct. 2: Bill Stoneman pitches his second career no-hitter, a 7-0 win over the Mets at Jarry Park.

    1973 September: Gene Mauch's Expos give Montrealers their first taste of pennant fever as they contend for the first time for a postseason birth.

    Gary Carter

    1977 Apr. 15: The Expos play their inaugural game at Olympic Stadium. A total of 57,592 watch the home team suffer a 7-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. The attendance remains an Expos' record for a home opener.

    Apr. 20: Gary Carter becomes the first Expos' hitter to blast three home runs in the same game when he does so off Pittsburgh Pirates' pitcher Jim Rooker. The feat occurs during the Expos' inaugural homestand at Olympic Stadium.

    Ross Grimsley

    1978 Oct. 1: Ross Grimsley wins his 20th game of the season. He becomes the first and only Expos' pitcher to date to reach 20 wins in a season.

    1979 June 17: Tony Perez, Gary Carter and Ellis Valentine hit the first back-to-back-to-back home runs in Expos' history.

    October: The Expos come closer than ever to a division title, finishing second in the NL East to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Expos had remained in the pennant race until the final series of the season.

  2. 1980-1989

    Montral Expos 1981 Celebration

    The Expos celebrated wildly after clinching the NL East Division crown in 1981, a year that saw the team come within one game of the World Series.

    1980Sept. 10: Rookie Bill Gullickson strikes out 18 Chicago Cubs in one game, a team record that stands to this day.

    October: The Expos again tease Montreal baseball fans by maintaining their playoff hopes until the final day of the season, finishing second and one game behind the Philadelphia Phillies.

    Charlie Lea

    1981 May 10: Charlie Lea throws the third no-hitter in Expos' history against the Giants at Olympic Stadium, 4-0, in the second game of a Sunday afternoon doubleheader. Andre Dawson makes the final out in centerfield.

    Oct. 3: In the final game of a strike-interrupted season, Wallace Johnson's 2-run triple off Mets' relief pitcher Neil Allen leads the Expos to the 1981 second-half NL East title.

    Oct. 10: The Expos win their first National League East division title. Playing the first-half title-holding Phillies, Warren Cromartie grabs a line drive at first base at Philadelphia's Veterans' Stadium to clinch the best-of-five division series 3 games to 2.

    Oct. 19: The day that will simply be remembered as "Blue Monday" by Expos' fans comes when Dodgers' outfielder Rick Monday crushes the Expos' hopes of a trip to the World Series with a game-winning, ninth-inning home run off Steve Rogers in the fifth and deciding game of the NL Championship Series at Olympic Stadium. The Dodgers capture the NLCS 3 games to 2 and will go on to beat the Yankees in the Fall Classic. For the third consecutive season, the Expos are eliminated by the eventual World Series Champions.

    Montreal hosts the first All-Star game located outside the United States

    1982 July 13: Montreal hosts the first All-Star game located outside the United States. Steve Rogers, Gary Carter, Tim Raines and Andre Dawson are starters while Al Oliver is a reserve. Reds' shortstop Dave Concepcion hits a two-run home run in the second inning to spark the NL to its 11th consecutive win in the All-Star Game, 4-1.

    Sept. 22: Chris Speier collects 8 RBI against the San Francisco Giants, becoming the only Expos' player in history to have had both an 8-RBI game and to have hit for the cycle during his career.

    Al Oliver

    Oct. 3: With a .331 batting average, Al Oliver becomes the first Expos' hitter to win a batting title. Teammate Tim Raines will accomplish the same feat four years later, hitting .336 in 1986.

    1984 Apr. 13: Expos' first baseman Pete Rose hits a double off Philadelphia Philles' pitcher Jerry Koosman to collect his 4,000th career hit.

  3. 1990-1999

    1990's Montral Expos

    Under the guidance of Manager Felipe Alou, the team gained a reputation for developing a legion of Major League talent.

    Dennis Martinez

    1991 July 28: El Presidente... El Perfecto! Pitching in Los Angeles, Dennis Martinez pitches the 15th perfect game in Major League history. He beats Mike Morgan and the Dodgers, 2-0, striking out five batters over the course of 96 pitches (66 strikes) in a game played in 2:14 in front of 45,560 fans. Marquis Grissom records the final out in center field on a fly ball by pinch-hitter Chris Gwynn. On July 26, 1991, just two days earlier, Mark Gardner of the Expos had pitched nine innings of no-hit baseball against the Dodgers, only to lose the game in the tenth inning.

    1994 June 29: The Expos set an attendance record for a mid-week series as they take a three game series from the Braves and in the process, take over the top spot in the NL East. The team would not relinquish its position in first place for the remainder of the shortened season.

    Aug. 12: The season comes to an end when the players go on strike, thus ruining what would likely have been the finest season in Montreal's history. The Expos finish 6.0 games ahead of the Braves in first place in the NL East with a 74-40 record, the best in baseball, and are first in both wins and win percentage in the majors, ahead of the Yankees. The Expos finish 34 games over .500, the highest mark at the end of any season.

    Pedro Martinez

    1995 June 3: After the team is only able to break a scoreless tie in the top of the tenth, Expos' starter Pedro Martinez takes a perfect 1-0 game into the bottom of the tenth at San Diego, but gives up a lead-off double to Bip Roberts, thus losing his bid for perfection or a no-hitter. He is replaced by closer Mel Rojas, who is able to earn the save.

    1997 November: Pedro Martinez becomes the first Expos' pitcher and first Dominican to win the Cy Young Award. Martinez had enjoyed a masterful season, winning 17 games to go along with a 1.90 ERA and 305 strikeouts in 206.2 innings pitched.

    1999 Oct. 2: Vladimir Guerrero becomes the first Expos' player to hit 40 home runs in a season. He finishes the year with a total of 42 round-trippers.

  4. 2000-Present

    2001 Apr. 7: The Expos put on quite a show in their home opener -- and that was before the game started. The pregame player introductions included a stuntman leaping from the scoreboard in a Montreal uniform and another rappelling down from the stadium's roof in full catcher's gear. After the explosive preview to the game, the Expos went on to beat the Mets by a 10-6 final score.

    May 15: Javier Vazquez fired a two-hit shutout against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Vazquez struck out nine batters without walking any. Only three of his 27 outs came on ground balls. In this gem, he retired the first 11 batters he faced and ended up pitching to only three batters over the minimum.

    May 31: After the Expos struggled to a 21-32 record in the first two months of the season, manager Felipe Alou was fired on the last day of May. Alou spent 27 years in Montreal's organization and finished with a career record of 691-716-1 as manager. Jeff Torborg was selected to replace Alou and was signed to a three-year deal that will run through the 2003 season. Torborg, a former Major League manager, had most recently worked as a television analyst.

    June 5: Josh Karp is picked by Montreal with the sixth selection in the 2001 Amateur Draft. July 10: Vladimir Guerrero was on the NL All-Star Team for the third straight season. In the process, he became the first Expo since Dennis Martinez (1990-92) to accomplish that feat. Tim Raines holds the club record by being named seven straight times (1981-87).

    July 31: The Expos made two trades in the hours before the trading deadline. Milton Bradley was traded to Cleveland in exchange for pitching prospect Zach Day. In a bigger trade, Montreal sent Ugueth Ubrina to Boston. Urbina, Montreal's closer, brought a return of two pitching prospects: Tomo Ohka and Rich Rundles. At the time of the trade, Ohka had a 6-13 lifetime record in the majors with a 4.61 ERA in 33 games (25 starts). For the season, Urbina was 2-1 with 15 saves in 45 appearances. He had a 4.24 ERA through 46 2/3 innings pitched.

    Sept. 6: Javier Vazquez was named the NL Pitcher of the Month for August. It was the first time in his career that he earned such a distinction. Vazquez was dominant in August, posting a 5-1 record with a 0.55 ERA. He allowed just three earned runs in 49 innings, striking out 45 batters against only eight walks. In his only loss, he pitched a complete game. Pedro Martinez was the last Expo to achieve that honor, and he did it in August of 1997.

    2002 Feb. 1: On this date, the Major League Baseball Ownership Committee reccomended approval of the sale of the Florida Marlins to Jeffrey Loria. It also endorsed the approval of the sale of the Expos to MLB itself. Once they made that decision, the only thing standing in the way was a vote by the assembled owners.

    Feb. 12: Major League Baseball's ownership of the Expos was approved by the league owners on this date, and a new management team was announced. Among those involved: Tony Tavares as club president, Omar Minaya as vice-president and general manager, and Frank Robinson as field manager.

    Mar. 7: Former Montreal superstar Andres Galarraga was signed to a minor-league contract, bringing him back to the city where he started his career. The "Big Cat" played six seasons for the Expos and made the All-Star team for the first time in his career in 1988. In that same year, he led the league in hits. He won Gold Gloves in each of the next two seasons.

    Apr. 15: This date marked the 25th anniversary of the first game played in Olympic Stadium. That inaugural game drew 57,592 fans for a 7-2 loss against Philadelphia. Steve Carlton threw a complete game for the Phillies, besting Montreal's Dan Stanhouse. Montreal also lost on the silver anniversary -- Chicago dispatched Montreal by a 6-4 final score.

    May 2: Vladimir Guerrero was named the NL Player of the Month, after putting together one of the most dominant stretches in franchise history. In the opening month, Guerrero led the league in six offensive categories and established a new Montreal record for RBIs (28) in April. This was the fourth Player of the Month distinction of his career.

    June 4: Montreal selected Clint Everts with the fifth overall selection of the 2002 Amateur Draft. Everts, a right-handed pitcher, was just 17 years old at the time he was drafted. The high school senior went 9-3 with a 1.30 ERA in his final prep campaign. In 81 innings pitched, he struck out 157 batters against only 28 walks.

    June 27: The Expos pulled off a tremendous trade, snaring right-handed ace Bartolo Colon from the Indians. Montreal shocked the baseball world by sending Lee Stevens and three prospects to Cleveland to acquire Colon, considered as one of the best young arms in the Major Leagues. At the time of the trade, the 29-year-old was 75-45 with a 3.92 ERA for his career. For the season, he was 10-4 with a 2.55 ERA.

    June 30: Two Expos were voted in as starters for the All-Star Game. Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Vidro were both elected, marking the first time two Expos were in the starting lineup since 1984.

    July 11: Montreal pulled off another blockbuster, bringing back Cliff Floyd to the city where he began his career. Floyd came over to the Expos with Wilton Guerrero, pitching prospect Claudio Vargas and an undisclosed amount of cash. In exchange, the Expos sent Graeme Lloyd, Mike Mordecai, Carl Pavano, pitching prospect Justin Wayne and a player to be named later to Florida. Floyd, an All-Star in 2001, was the centerpiece of the deal.

    July 30: Less than a month after acquiring him, the Expos dealt Cliff Floyd to the Red Sox. In return for the slugger, the Expos got a pair of Korean pitching prospects. Boston sent Sunny Kim and Seung Song to Montreal, along with the promise of a player to be named later.

    Aug. 21: Nearly three months after he was drafted fifth overall, Clint Everts officially signed with the Expos.

    Sept. 20: Bartolo Colon won his 20th game and became just the second pitcher in baseball history to win 10 games in each league during the same season. No other player had accomplished that feat since 1957, when Hank Borowy did it with the Yankees and Cubs.

    Sept. 29: Vladimir Guerrero fell just shy of becoming just the fourth player in Major League history to notch 40 homers and 40 stolen bases in the same season. He finished with 39 homers, with a ball missing by mere inches in the second to last game of the season.

    Oct. 18: Vladimir Guerrero was honored by the local baseball writers and unanimously named the Expos' Molson Player of the Year. The superstar slugger has captured that honor in four of the last five seasons. In addition to falling one homer short of the 40-40 club, Guerrero set a team record with 206 hits. All-Star starter Jose Vidro was second on seven of the nine ballots.

    Oct. 22: The Sporting News honored two Expos for their play in 2002. Brad Wilkerson was named the NL Rookie of the Year, and Vladimir Guerrero was named to the publication's NL All-Star Team. Wilkerson led NL rookies in several offensive categories including: home runs (20), RBIs (59), runs scored (92), hits (135), multi-hit games (39), extra-base hits (55), total bases (238), doubles (27), triples (8), walks (81) and outfield assists (13).

    2004 The Expos played their final season in Montreal and finished in fifth place with a 67-95 record. Still, they were still able to have their share of bright spots. Tony Batista was the Expos' biggest run producer in 2004 by hitting 32 home runs and driving in 110 runs. Brad Wilkerson also became the first member of the Expos to hit 30 home runs, score 100 runs and walk 100 times in the same season. Right-hander Livan Hernandez was the Expos' lone All-Star representative. For the season, he led the Major Leagues in complete games and innings pitched. Second baseman Jose Vidro reached a milestone by hitting career home run No. 100 against the Giants on Aug. 18.

    2005 In their first season in Washington, the Nationals were the feel-good story of the first half of 2005. They were 52-36 and in first place in the National League East. They were getting solid pitching from Livan Hernandez, John Patterson and timely hitting on a regular basis from Jose Guillen and Brad Wilkerson. A couple of days before the All-Star break, manager Frank Robinson warned his team not to relax because teams in the East would be gunning for them. Robinson was proven right. Not only did they lose their division and Wild Card leads, the Nationals went 28-45 after the break and were eliminated from playoff contention on Sept. 26. Still, Washington finished with a .500 record.

    2006 The Nationals' disappointing season can be traced back to Spring Training, in which they went 9-21. They couldn't pitch, catch the ball nor hit in the clutch and it carried over into the season. The Nationals ended up finishing in fifth place for the third year in a row with a 71-91 record. The subpar season cost manager Frank Robinson his job. There was some good news: Alfonso Soriano and Ryan Zimmerman were the heart of the team. Soriano became the charter member of the 40-40-40 club (46 homers, 41 steals, 41 doubles), while Zimmerman became one of the top rookies in the Major Leagues. He was sparkling at third base and led the team in RBIs with 110.

    2007 Most people expected the worst from the Nationals in 2007. Some even thought they would be historically bad because they lost players such as Alfonso Soriano, Jose Vidro and Jose Guillen during the offseason. As it turned out, the Nationals were one of the biggest surprises in baseball, posting a 73-89 record and avoiding last place for the first time since 2003. A lot of the credit went to first-year manager Manny Acta, who came in with a positive attitude and never panicked when things went wrong. Under his leadership, the pitching and defense improved dramatically.

    2008 The Nationals got off to a 3-0 start in 2008, which included a walkoff win in their Nationals Park debut, but it was a tough season thereafter. What hurt most was that 15 players, including Nick Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman, went on the disabled list for long stretches and the offense was below average. In fact, the Nationals were blanked a Major League-leading 21 times and didn't have a position player reach the 70-RBI plateau.

    2009 Before the 2009 season started, the Nationals believed they would be better than last year's team, which lost 102 games. Acquiring Adam Dunn, Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham was the impetus for that thinking.

    Washington also thought a healthy Ryan Zimmerman would make a world of difference, offensively and defensively.

    But the season turned out to be the worst in team history. The Nationals lost 103 games, and will get the first pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft for the second consecutive season.

    A struggling pitching staff and defensive lapses were the main reasons for the team's woes.

    If there's one silver lining to the season, it's that the Nationals played better baseball under interim manager Jim Riggleman, who replaced Manny Acta after the All-Star Break. The team went 33-42 after the break.

    General manager Mike Rizzo made it clear that he wanted more of an old-school manager, and Riggleman did everything he could to win ballgames, manufacturing runs and giving pitchers quick hooks if he felt they couldn't get the job done.

    2011 The Nationals made significant strides in 2011. They finished in third place in the National League East and nearly had a record over .500 for the first time since moving to the nation's capital after the '04 season.

    One of the reasons for the improvement was first baseman/outfielder Mike Morse. He was clearly the team's MVP. The right-handed-hitting Morse hit .303 with 31 home runs and 95 RBIs, leading the Nationals in all three categories.

    The Nationals also had an improved pitching staff. They finished sixth in the Major Leagues in ERA and were able to get the job done without Stephen Strasburg for most of the season. Strasburg spent most of 2011 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He didn't make his season debut until Sept. 8.

    The best pitcher was setup man Tyler Clippard, who made his first All-Star appearance and had a 1.93 ERA.

    2012 April 29: Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who was once known as the LeBron James of baseball, made his Major League debut and went 1-for-3 with an RBI in a 4-3 loss against the Dodgers.

    May 6: Bryce Harper showed how to get revenge in a 9-3 loss to the Phillies. After getting drilled by left-hander Cole Hammels, Harper advanced to third on a single by Jayson Werth. Harper was then able to pay Hamels back by stealing home while the pitcher tried to pick off Werth at first base. Harper is the second player in Nationals history to steal home, and the first to do so on a straight steal. Ian Desmond stole home as part of a double steal on April 20, 2011, against the Cardinals.

    May 6: The Nationals suffered a huge blow when right fielder Jayson Werth broke his left wrist while attempting a sliding catch in their 9-3 loss to the Phillies. Werth wasn't back on the field until early August. It's the same wrist he broke as a member of the Dodgers in 2005. He ended up missing all of 2006 because of the injury.

    Sept 8: Manager Davey Johnson decided that Stephen Strasburg's season is over. Johnson said he knew it was over after watching the right-hander pitch against the Marlins the previous night. Strasburg had his worst outing of the year in what seemed like a repeat of his Aug. 28 start against Miami. In that game, Strasburg lasted five innings and allowed seven runs -- five earned -- in a 9-0 loss. On Sept 8, Strasburg didn't have any answers against the Marlins, lasting three innings and allowing five runs on six hits. He threw 67 pitches, 37 for strikes.

    Sept 22: Left-hander Gio Gonzalez did something that had not been done in Nationals history. He became the club's first pitcher to win 20 games in a season as the Nationals pounded the Brewers, 10-4, at Nationals Park.

    Sept 24: Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond stole his 20th base of the season in a 12-2 victory over the Brewers. Desmond became the second member in Nationals history -- Alfonso Soriano is the other -- to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in a season.

    Oct 2: The magic number is zero. The Nationals became the National League East champions, despite their 2-0 loss to the Phillies. It helped that the Braves, who were in second place and three games behind entering Monday, were edged by the Pirates, 2-1, in Pittsburgh. This is the first time the Nationals have won a division title since moving to D.C. after the 2004 season.

    Oct 11: Jayson Werth knew what was on the line at Nationals Park in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. A loss would mean Washington would go home for the winter. But Werth didn't allow that to happen as the Nationals edged the Cardinals, 2-1, on Werth's walk-off home run. The game was tied at 1 in the ninth, and Werth -- leading off in the bottom of the inning -- battled Cards reliever Lance Lynn, hitting the 13th pitch of the at-bat over the left-field wall for the 14th postseason home run of his career, his first this postseason.

    Nov 12: Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was named the National League Rookie of the Year Award winner, as voted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Harper narrowly edged D-backs pitcher Wade Miley by seven points, 112-105, the fourth-closest margin in NL voting history. Harper was named first on 16 of the 32 ballots, second on eight and third on eight, the only player to be named by all 32 voters. Miley netted 12 first-place votes, 13 second-place votes and six third-place votes.

    Nov 13: Davey Johnson was named National League Manager of the Year as voted on by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Johnson received 23 first-place and finished 54 points ahead of runner-up and Reds skipper Dusty Baker. It marked the second time Johnson won the award. He won the American League Manager of the Year Award in 1997 as a member of the Orioles. The 69-year-old Johnson is the second member of the Nationals to win an offseason award this week. On Monday, outfielder Bryce Harper was named the NL Rookie of the Year.

    Dec 7: The Nationals made it official, signing free-agent right-hander Dan Haren to a one-year, $13 million contract. Haren joins a solid rotation that includes Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Ross Detwiler. Haren effectively replaces Edwin Jackson.