Music - I like to rock by April Wine
Jarry Park (Parc Jarry) - Opened in 1960 and is still standing. Park is now a tennis stadium.
Location - 285 Faillon Street Montreal Quebec.
In the Villeray section of Montreal sits a nondescript little stadium. At one time this park saw the best players in the National League roaming its green grass. We are touring old Jarry Park. One time home to the Montreal Expos. Jarry park sits about 4 miles north of downtown Montreal. It is right off Boulevard St. Laurent, in between Rue Faillon and Rue Jarry. Basically the park sits in a residential neighborhood, much like Wrigley Field in Chicago.
The Expos were born in 1969 and had intended to play in Jarry Park for only a few years. But due to a strike, their new home, the Olympic stadium, would be delayed. Their "temporary" home of Parc Jarry lasted 8 seasons. The Expos started out of the gate fast in 1969. They won their first game ever, beating the eventual world champion New York Mets at Shea stadium on opening day. They also won their first home game, and the first game ever played outside the United States. Their home opener was played against the St. Louis Cardinals before a standing room only crowd of 29,184. The first home run was hit by Mack Jones of the Expos in the first inning. That got the crowd going. Dan McGinn picked up the first win by an Expo at home. Three days later, in Philadelphia at old Connie Mack stadium, Bill Stoneman threw the Expos first no hitter. He beat the hapless Philles 7-0. The final game at Jarry Park was on September 26,1976. Actually it was a final two games, as a doubleheader was played against the Phillies. The Phillies swept the doubleheader and won the last game 2-1. Dennis Blair of the Expos took the loss. The final home run hit at Jarry Park was by Greg Luzinski of the Phillies in the first game of the doubleheader. The final Expos home run was hit by Ellis Valentine on September 22nd against the New York Mets. With the final game, the curtain came down on Parc Jarry as a major league stadium.
Jarry Park was quaint. It had a definite minor league feel to it. Capacity never was above 29,000. Concession stands were adequate at best. There were no bells and whistles of any kind. The PA announcer would announce the lineups first in French, then in English. He would get the crowd into it by elongating players names such as John Boccabella. It would come out JOHNNNNN BOCCCCCABELLLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAA. By far the fan favorite in Montreal in the early days was Rusty Staub. He was dubbed "Le Grand Orange" by the fans for his orangy red hair. The Expos had their share of good players, from Gary Carter to Ellis Valentine to (in my opinion) a future hall of famer, Andre Dawson. Long before AT and T park in San Francisco had McCovey cove, Jarry Park had splash hits. This was due to the community pool that was in back of the right field scoreboard. Jarry park was quirky and homey. And I would be willing to bet if you ask an Expos fan, they would MUCH rather see a game again at Jarry Park as opposed to that monstrosity known as Olympic stadium.
After the Expos left in 1976, Jarry Park was used for a lot of civic events, and occasional concerts. Gradually in the 90's it was turned into a tennis stadium and now has been renamed as Stade Uniprix.
Jarry Park may no longer be a major league stadium, but for 8 summers in Montreal, fans would go to watch Les Expos play. Tennis dominates the landscape of the former major league park now. But if you close your eyes, you can still see Rusty Staub trying to hit one into the pool in right.