We've got another guest post for you today, this time from Jeff Polman. Jeff runs "Play that Funky Baseball", a Strat-O-Matic replay of the 1977 season, where I manage the 1977 Dodgers. It's home to some of the most inventive writing on the web. He is currently running the 1977 Funky All-Star Challenge, a contest to predict the 1977 Funky All-Star Game winners. Go check it out. And thanks, Jeff!
In one of my former lives, I was the Arts Editor and Sports Feature Writer for the first five years of the Vermont Vanguard Press, a scrappy alternative weekly located in Burlington, Vermont. Rents and salaries were cheap up there, winters went from October to Memorial Day, but one of the perks was that Montreal, Canada was a mere two hour drive up Interstate 89. This produced two frequent events: trips over the border to bring back 12-packs of high-octane Molson Brador, and visits to Olympic Stadium to see some of the best Expos teams of all time.
Thus in 1981 I was fortunate to cover the three final NLCS games at the "Big O" against the Dodgers, after the teams had split the first two meetings in L.A. (it was a best-of-5 series then). What follows is an excerpted account of that thrilling weekend, first published in the Vanguard Press, October 23-30, 1981. Boule de jeu!
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Larry Parrish, garbed in rust-colored leather jacket, blue jeans, boots, and western hat, moves through the exit turnstile in the Metro's Pie-IX station, on his way to work. His walk is casual but proud, and his boots click loudly on the tiled floor of the sloping ramp that leads up and into Olympic Stadium. The third playoff game against the Dodgers won't start for another four hours, but even though there are already clusters of fans milling about the entrance to the stadium, few of them recognize the Expos' third baseman as he strolls toward the side door, spitting streams of reddish-brown tobacco juice into every other trash basket he passes.
Parrish, a strong but often clumsy player with one superlative season (1979) to his credit, epitomizes the Expos in this final weekend of the playoffs. Trying to shake a local reputation as a goat, his bat came alive in Los Angeles, and like his team, he finally has a chance to put years of mediocrity behind him.
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