Baseball back at Big O, for now; man injured in stadium fall

Photo by Dan Spector

Montrealers got a taste of Major League Baseball after a 10 year absence.

The Toronto Blue Jays were the home team against the New York Mets in a pre-season exhibition game, but most people were there for reasons other than the teams on the field.

For people like Brett Antal, the first of two games this weekend was all about remembering what was and what could have been.

"It's going to really fun, seeing all the guys, good memories and sentiments," he said, wearing a Gary Carter Expos jersey.

A pre-game ceremony honoured Expos legend Gary Carter, who passed away in 2012. Carter also played much of his career with the Mets.

In attendance were his Expos teammates Tim Raines, Warren Cromartie and Steve Rogers, as well as his widow Sandy and daughter Kimmy.

The Carters said they were deeply moved by the tribute and by the love shown by the crowd.

"I got really emotional when I heard the roar of the crowd," said Kimmy Carter. "We felt his presence there, and we knew he was smiling."

Mayor Denis Coderre was also on hand, and threw out the first pitch. He said he is looking at ways of bringing baseball back to Montreal for good.

After the game, a man in his 40s fell from the centre-field bleachers to the ground 10 to 15 metres below. He was transported to hospital and remains in critical condition.

The Blue Jays won 5-4.

An afternoon game will be played at 1:05 pm Saturday. The 1994 Expos, the best team in baseball before a players strike shut down the season, will be honoured tomorrow.

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