What happened? Looking back at the 1994 Expos

July 19, 2013, 12:05 PM

ExposNation is coming to Toronto.

For the second year in a row, a rabid group of 650-plus Montreal Expos fans will be descending to the Rogers Centre.

You can learn more about the ExposNation event on July 20 here:

Maybe Youppi will even show up. We’d recommend that Jeffrey Loria doesn’t attend though.

Many young baseball fans may not remember much about the strike-shortened 1994 season, but the Expos’ fan base certainly does.

That season the Expos had a 74-40 record, good enough for the best record in baseball. They were a team that appeared to be set up with great young players for years to come.

Imagine the Expos and the Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series. That would’ve been fun.

But the Expos organization never recovered from that 1994 lost season.

They lost the core of their championship-calibre roster (in free agency and trades), getting little in return, and Montreal eventually ended up losing their franchise to Washington at the end of the 2004.

With the Expos fans coming to show their support, we thought it was worth looking back and revisiting what became of that first-place team.

This may be depressing if you’re a diehard Montreal fan.

Here, we break down the team’s starting lineup and where they ended up in their careers after leaving Montreal.

THE HITTERS

Catcher: Darrin Fletcher

1994 stats: 94 GP, 28 R, 10 HR, 57 RBI, .260/.314/.435/.749

When he left Montreal: At age 31, Fletcher signed a free-agent deal with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1998.

What happened after he left: In Toronto, Fletcher had the best offensive numbers of his career, including the 2000 season where he blasted 20 home runs with 80 RBIs.

First base: Cliff Floyd

1994 stats: 100 GP, 43 R, 4 HR, 41 RBI, .281/.332/.398/.731

When he left Montreal: In March of 1997, he was traded to the Florida Marlins for Dustin Hermanson and Joe Orsulak.

What happened after he left: Floyd was a key reserve for the World Series-winning Marlins before breaking out with six 20-plus home run seasons with Florida and the New York Mets.

Second base: Mike Lansing

1994 stats: 106 GP, 44 R, 5 HR, 35 RBI, .266/.338/.368/.696

When he left Montreal: Acquired by the Colorado Rockies for John Nicholson, Mark Hamlin and Jake Westbrook in November 1997.

What happened after he left: Lansing became mostly a solid reserve for the Colorado Rockies and a brief stint with the Boston Red Sox in the early 2000s.

Shortstop: Wil Cordero

1994 stats: 110 GP, 65 R, 15 HR, 63 RBI, .294/.363/.489/.853

When he left Montreal: Traded to Boston Red Sox with Bryan Eversgerd in 1996 for Shayne Bennett, Rheal Cormier and Ryan McGuire

What happened after he left: Cordero had solid seasons with Boston, Cleveland, Chicago and Pittsburgh before rejoining the Expos for 2002-03. He never had a better year than what he was on pace for in 1994.

Third base: Sean Berry

1994 stats: 103 GP, 43 R, 11 HR, 41 RBI, .278/.347/.453/.800

When he left Montreal: Traded to Houston Astros in December 1995 for Raul Chavez and Dave Veres.

What happened after he left: Berry put up respectable numbers in two of his first three years with Houston (1996) but saw a steep decline in his offensive output after that.

Left field: Moises Alou

1994 stats: 107 GP, 81 R, 22 HR, 78 RBI, .339/.397/.592/.989

When he left Montreal: Signed with Florida Marlins as a free agent in 1996.

What happened after he left: Alou built off his strong 1994 season, where he was a legitimate MVP candidate, to become one of the league’s best power hitters. He won a World Series in his lone year in Florida and was involved in the infamous Bartman play with the Chicago Cubs.

Centre field: Marquis Grissom

1994 stats: 110 GP, 96 R, 11 HR, 45 RBI, .288/.344/.427/.771

When he left Montreal: In April 1995, Grissom was shipped to the Atlanta Braves for Roberto Kelly, Tony Tarasco and Esteban Yan.

What happened after he left: Grissom continued his success from Montreal, becoming the starting centre fielder for the World Series-winning Atlanta Braves in 1995 and a Cleveland Indians team that won the American League in 1997.

Right field: Larry Walker

1994 stats: 103 GP, 76 R, 19 HR, 86 RBI, .322/.394/.687/.981

When he left Montreal: In April 1995, Walker signed as a free agent with the Colorado Rockies.

What happened after he left: After leaving Montreal, the Canadian became the most productive player in Colorado Rockies’ history. He put up Hall of Fame-calibre numbers during his 10 years with the Rockies franchise – winning the MVP award in 1997.

THE PITCHERS

Starter: Ken Hill

1994 stats: 154.2 IP, 16-5, 3.32 ERA, 85 K, 44 BB

When he left Montreal: In April 1995, Hill was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Kirk Bullinger, Bryan Eversgerd and DaRond Stovall.

What happened after he left: Hill never put up the same kind of numbers after the 1994 season, bouncing around the league with St. Louis, Cleveland, Texas, Anaheim, Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay.

Starter: Pedro Martinez

1994 stats: 144.2 IP, 11-5, 3.42 ERA, 142 K, 45 BB

When he left Montreal: Martinez was traded to the Boston Red Sox in 1997 for Carl Pavano and a player to be named later (Tony Armas Jr.)

What happened after he left: This guy doesn’t need much of an introduction. Martinez quickly became one of the best pitchers in Red Sox history after that steal of a trade. He won two Cy Young awards in Boston before helping the franchise erase its World Series curse in 2004.

Starter: Jeff Fassero

1994 stats: 138.2 IP, 8-6, 2.99 ERA, 119 K, 40 BB

When he left Montreal: Along with Alex Pacheco, Fassero was sent to the Seattle Mariners for Trey Moore, Matt Wagner and Chris Widger in 1996.

What happened after he left: Fassero never reached 200 strikeouts after leaving the Expos but had two rock solid years with the Mariners before playing with seven more franchises in his 16-year career.

Starter: Butch Henry

1994 stats: 138.2 IP, 8-3, 2.43 ERA, 70 K, 20 BB

When he left Montreal: Claimed off waivers by the Boston Red Sox in 1995.

What happened after he left: Henry played just three seasons after being placed on waivers by Montreal, spending time with the Red Sox and Seattle Mariners.

Starter: Kirk Rueter

1994 stats: 92.1 IP, 4-6, 5.17 ERA, 50 K, 23 BB

When he left Montreal: Traded with Tim Scott to the San Francisco Giants for Mark Leiter.

What happened after he left: Rueter, who was never much a strikeout pitcher, became a staple in the Giants rotation, throwing 180-plus innings every season from 1997-2002.

Closer: John Wetteland

1994 stats: 92.1 IP, 4-6, 2.83 ERA, 68 K, 21 BB, 25 SV

When he left Montreal: Traded to the New York Yankees for Fernando Seguignol and cash in 1995.

What happened after he left: Wetteland was the closer (the setup man was a kid named Mariano Rivera) for the World Series-winning Yankees team in 1996. He accumulated at least 30 saves in his all five seasons after leaving the Expos.

Relief Pitcher: Mel Rojas

1994 stats: 84.0 IP, 3-2, 3.32 ERA, 84 K, 21 BB, 16 SV

When he left Montreal: Signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs in 1996.

What happened after he left: Rojas was never as effective after leaving the Expos. He spent parts of four seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers and New York Mets before returning to Montreal in 1999 – where he had little left in the tank.

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