Growing up a Cardinals fan I know that I have had it really good. The Expos, on the other hand, made one playoff appearance in 1981, which I do not remember, and should have made another in 1994 when the strike derailed their season. The other thirty some years that I have followed baseball, the Expos/Nationals have been pretty irrelevant. Worse is the fact that many of the other professional baseball teams that have called Washington home have also been terrible. The city's streak of playoff futility is rivaled by only the Chicago Cubs.
However, the irrelevance is now starting to change around the team. They have several great young players and seem poised to be a very good team for the next several seasons. The team has also created a Ring of Honor, kind of football like, to recognize past players from the Expos and other Washington baseball teams. One of the players appearing on the Ring of Honor is Expos great Andre Dawson.
2010 Topps Tribute Andre Dawson Six Piece Relic
Dawson was recently elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as an Expo becoming the second player to do so. The first was Gary Carter. Despite his direct connection to the franchise along with his Hall of Fame credentials, I am often disappointed when Nationals fans, or worse the team's broadcasters, scoff at the teams history. There are two takes: The Nationals started in 2005 and Ryan Zimmerman is currently the greatest National until Bryce Harper or Steven Strasburg can pass him for the honor. Or... The Nationals greatest player is Walter Johnson or Andre Dawson or Harmon Killebrew or Josh Gibson or Gary Carter depending on the day and whether or not we are counting the Expos or not. Somedays we count the Senators, somedays not. Somedays one of the Senators teams, but not the bad one. Oh, they were both pretty bad?
I was encouraged when the Nats created the Ring of Honor and was hoping that they would do a great job of marketing the direct past history of the franchise by honoring some of the great Expos players I watched growing up like Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, Pedro Martinez, and Larry Walker. I would also love to hear about some of the great players that have played for Washington baseball teams like Walter Johnson and Josh Gibson.
I think that many fans understand that the franchise history of the Expos/Nationals has not always been great, nor has the history of many of the Washington baseball teams. However, it would be nice if the franchise and fans were more consistent in honoring the players featured in the Ring of Honor by not claiming that your 19 year old right fielder is the greatest right fielder in the history of the franchise. Or knowing that before Steven Strasburg pitched in Washington, Walter Johnson was one the greatest pitchers in the history of the game.
So to clarify my statement from the first line. This card is the greatest Montreal Expos card that I own and I consider it to be one of my better Washington Nationals cards too. Now, if we can get the Nationals to start selling some Expos shirts, or at lease a Senators shirt, we would be in business.