It seems long overdue, but in July the Washington Nationals will wear Montreal Expos throwback uniforms.
The Montreal Expos existed from 1969-2004, then became the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season. On July 6 against the Kansas City Royals, according to the Washington Post (and for the first time since the franchise moved), the Nationals will wear Expos throwback uniforms.
Up to now the Nationals have only worn throwback uniforms honoring the Washington Senators, who existed from 1901-1960 before moving to Minnesota and becoming the Twins.
The Nationals will wear the Expos’ signature road powder blue jersey and pants, with the classic tri-color caps and batting helmets. Images of legendary Expos like Andre Dawson, Gary Carter and Tim Raines should already be coming to your mind.
The Royals were also an MLB expansion team in 1969, and according to the Post they will wear a throwback version of their original road grays with “Kansas City” on the front in blue lettering.
If you forgot what they looked like, or are just too young to know or remember, here’s a look at the Expos’ throwback uniforms. Wearing the Expos road blues for a home game is obviously appropriate here.
The celebration on July 6 will extend to the stadium scoreboard, with the Expos’ “M” replacing the Nationals curly “W”, to the in-game music (“Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies was Billboard’s No. 1 hit single in 1969) and to concessions featuring Canadian-influenced food. Concession prices will not be thrown back to 1969 though.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez, third base coach Bob Henley and MASN broadcaster F.P. Santangelo player played for the Expos, and they will be recognized for their contributions to that era in the franchise’s history. Vladimir Guerrero, who of course started his Hall of Fame career with the Expos, is also expected to be in attendance.
Expos’ throwback gear can be found out there, so even with a spike in sales sure to come the move to wear the throwback uniforms isn’t necessarily driven by commerce. But it is overdue for the Nationals to acknowledge and celebrate the franchise’s Canadian heritage, and on Fourth of July weekend that will be made right.