Appel: The last Expo — and other survivors

From SABR member Marty Appel at The National Pastime Museum on December 4, 2014:

One of these years, one of these players will appear in his final Major League game and depart with a dubious distinction.

Be it Bartolo Colon, 41, (now with the New York Mets), Maicer Izturis, 34 (Toronto), Endy Chavez, 36, or Scott Downs, 38 (currently free agents), or Bruce Chen, 37, (released by Kansas City in September), – one of them will be the last active player to have played for the Montreal Expos.

It is an odd distinction that the players themselves are probably unaware of. But it is a milestone of note, the passing of an era, sort of like the last president to have fought in World War II (George H. W. Bush).

There is some tricky research involved with the tracing of the “last players,” because one cannot assume that the “last” played during the team’s final season. Colon and Chen, for example, wore the Montreal uniform in 2002, while the Expos’ final season was 2004. Only Chavez of the four made the shift to Washington and wore the Nationals uniform in 2005. (In a less likely scenario, Luis Ayala, who pitched in Mexico this year along with 2014 minor leaguers  Juan Rivera, Shawn Hill and indie-leaguer Brendan Harris could also return one day to “win the contest”).

This need to dig back is what leads to one of the game’s more difficult trivia questions: Who was the last active player to have played for the Brooklyn Dodgers?

Read the full article here:

Originally published: December 4, 2014. Last Updated: December 4, 2014.