My mom is great. If she’s ever out shopping and sees a random baseball book of any kind, she buys it for me. Not so much books of prose — she knows I’m critical of a lot of authors and worries that she might get me something I wouldn’t like — but if there’s a big photo book or a reference book or a book about memorabilia or something, she throws it in the cart.
Yesterday she was out at the grocery store of all places and picked up book called Major League Baseball Hometown Heroes. It’s primarily a photo book put out by MLB itself a couple of years ago. It was tied in to some promotion the league was doing with the DHL at the time. It purports to set forth “the most outstanding players in baseball history, club by club.” It’s got a lot of neat photos I haven’t seen before, and for that reason alone I am happy mom picked it up for me.
The book/promotion limited itself to four or five players per team, so there are some obvious exclusions. No room for Eddie Matthews on the Braves, no post-Mantle Yankees, no post-Koufax Dodgers. Hey, you gotta make choices. But one team’s entry has me scratching my head: The Expos/Nationals, which are lumped together. Here are that team’s “hometown heroes”:
That’s right: three nondescript Nationals players got billing over Raines and Dawson in a contest to name “the most outstanding players in baseball history.” I’m sure someone complained about that when the nominees were listed three years ago, but allow me to add a belated “Oy!”
You know, one day it’s going to occur to MLB that there was some damn fine baseball played in Montreal for more than 35 years, and that maybe, just maybe, that history should be remembered.