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History

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FRANCHISE TIMELINE
1969-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-Present
Timeline
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.
1969-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-Present