Mains/Searle: The Summer of ’69: baseball from 50 years ago

From SABR member Rob Mains and Ginny Searle at Baseball Prospectus on April 8, 2019:

There is an enthralling, transient beauty in things not built to last, if one finds the right angle from which to observe. There are usual suspects, like hanami, the Japanese word for the blooming of cherry blossoms that has also become the name for festivals celebrating the arrival of spring. In less expected avenues, too, beauty can be found—for instance, the “dark store” loophole being deployed by big-box stores and their lawyers, which allows them to pay property taxes as if their stores were empty (on the tacit argument that their massive monoliths have no repurposement value) has its own kind of insidious, captivating beauty, in the “took with ravishment” sense.

All things considered, the ease of finding something beautiful in the Expos’ ruins (which took foundation even before they played their first game, in their lack of a concrete plan for a suitable long-term stadium) is still more in line with hanami. We don’t want to imply that the Expos’ end was fated from their very beginning, only recognize that retrospectively, much of the team feels transitory. The team did, after all, take the “Expos” moniker as a nod to Expo 67, the name for the World’s Fair exhibition held in Montreal two years prior.

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Originally published: April 8, 2019. Last Updated: April 8, 2019.