In baseball, a number of coaches assist in the smooth functioning of a team. They are assistants to the manager, who determines the lineup and decides how to substitute players during the game. Beyond the manager, more than a half dozen coaches may assist the manager in running the team. Baseball coaches are analogous to assistant coaches in other sports, as the baseball manager is to the head coach. Baseball is unique in that the manager and coaches all wear numbered uniforms similar to those of the players. Notable exceptions to this were Baseball Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack, who always wore a black suit during his 50 years at the helm of the Philadelphia Athletics, Burt Shotton, manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the late 1940s, who wore a Dodger 200 cap and a team jacket over street clothes in the dugout. After the widespread adoption of numbered uniforms in the early 1930s, Joe McCarthy, another Hall of Fame manager, wore a full uniform but no number on his back for the remainder of his career.
Coincidentally, all three men retired during or after the same season — 1950. Full-time coaches in professional baseball date to 1909, when John McGraw of the New York Giants engaged Arlie Latham and Wilbert Robinson as coaches. By the 1920s, most Major League teams had two full-time coaches, although the manager doubled as third-base coach and specialists such as pitching coaches were rare. After World War II, most MLB teams listed between three and five coaches on their roster, as managers ran their teams from the dugout full-time, appointed pitching and bullpen coaches to assist them and the baseline coaches. Batting and bench coaches came into vogue during later; because of the proliferation of uniformed coaches in the modern game, by the late 2000s Major League Baseball had restricted the number of uniformed staff to six coaches and one manager during the course of a game. Beginning with the 2013 season, clubs are permitted to employ a seventh uniformed coach, designated the assistant hitting coach, at their own discretion.
The first bench coach in baseball was George Huff, who took that helm for the Illinois Fighting Illini baseball in 1905. More the bench coach is a team's second-in-command; the bench coach serves as an in-game advisor to the manager, offering situational advice, bouncing ideas back and forth in order to assist the manager in making game decisions. If the manager is ejected, suspended, or unable to attend a game for any reason, the bench coach assumes the position of acting manager. If the manager is fired or resigns during the season, it is the bench coach who gets promoted to interim manager; the bench coach's responsibilities include helping to set up the day's practice and stretching routines before a game, as well as coordinating spring training routines and practices. A pitching coach trains teams' pitchers, he advises the manager on the condition of pitchers and their arms, serves as an in-game coach for the pitcher on the mound. When a manager makes a visit to the mound, he is doing so to make a pitching change or to discuss situational defense.
However, to talk about mechanics or how to pitch to a particular batter, the pitching coach is the one who will visit the mound. The pitching coach is a former pitcher. One exception is Dave Duncan, the former pitching coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, a catcher. Prior to the early 1950s, pitching coaches were former catchers; the bullpen coach is similar to a pitching coach, but works with relief pitchers in the bullpen. He does not make mound visits, however, as he stays in the bullpen the entire game, working with relievers who are warming up to enter the game; the bullpen coach is either a former pitcher or catcher. A hitting coach, as the name suggests, works with a team's players to improve their hitting techniques and form, he monitors players' swings during the game and over the course of the season, advising them when necessary between at-bats on adjustments to make. He oversees their performance during practices, cage sessions, pre-game batting practice. With the advent of technology, hitting coaches are utilizing video to analyze their hitters along with scouting the opposing pitchers.
Video has allowed hitting coaches to illustrate problem areas in the swing, making the adjustment period quicker for the player being analyzed. This process is called video analysis. Two on-field coaches are present. Stationed in designated coaches' boxes near first and third base, they are appropriately named base coaches—individually, first base coach and third base coach, they assist in the direction of baserunners, help prevent pickoffs, relay signals sent from the manager in the dugout to runners and batters. While the first base coach is responsible for the batter as to whether he stops at first base or not or for a runner on first, the third base coach carries more responsibility, his duties include holding or sending runners rounding second and third bases, as well as having to make critical, split-second decisions about whether to try to score a runner on a hit, accounting for the arm strength of the opposing team's fielder and the speed and position of his baserunner. The bench coach, third base coach, first base coach are assigned additional responsibility for assisting players in specific areas defense.
Common designations include outfield instructor, infield instructor, catching instructor, baserunning instructor. When a coaching staff is assembled, the selection of the first base coach is m
The Baltimore Orioles are an American professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland. As one of the American League's eight charter teams in 1901, this particular franchise spent its first year as a major league club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the Milwaukee Brewers before moving to St. Louis, Missouri, to become the St. Louis Browns. After 52 often-beleaguered years in St. Louis, the franchise was purchased in November 1953 by a syndicate of Baltimore business and civic interests led by attorney/civic activist Clarence Miles and Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro Jr; the team's current majority owner is lawyer Peter Angelos. The Orioles adopted their team name in honor of the official state bird of Maryland. Nicknames for the team include the "O's" and the "Birds"; the Orioles experienced their greatest success from 1966 to 1983, when they made six World Series appearances, winning three of them. This era of the club featured several future Hall of Famers who would be inducted representing the Orioles, such as third baseman Brooks Robinson, outfielder Frank Robinson, starting pitcher Jim Palmer, first baseman Eddie Murray, shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. and manager Earl Weaver.
The Orioles have won a total of nine division championships, six pennants, three wild card berths. After suffering a stretch of 14 straight losing seasons from 1998 to 2011, the team qualified for the postseason three times under manager Buck Showalter and general manager Dan Duquette, including a division title and advancement to the American League Championship Series for the first time in 17 years in 2014. However, the 2018 team finished with a franchise-worst record of 47–115, prompting the team to move on from Showalter and Duquette following the season's conclusion; the Orioles' current manager is Brandon Hyde, while Mike Elias serves as general manager and executive vice president. The Orioles are well known for their influential ballpark, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which opened in 1992 in downtown Baltimore; the modern Orioles franchise can trace its roots back to the original Milwaukee Brewers of the minor Western League, beginning in 1894, when the league reorganized. The Brewers were there when the WL renamed itself the American League in 1900.
At the end of the 1900 season, the American League removed itself from baseball's National Agreement. Two months the AL declared itself a competing major league; as a result of several franchise shifts, the Brewers were one of only two Western League teams that didn't fold, move or get kicked out of the league. In its first game in the American League, the team lost to the Detroit Tigers 14–13 after surrendering a nine-run lead in the 9th inning. To this day, it is a major league record for the biggest deficit overcome that late in the game. In the first American League season in 1901, they finished last with a record of 48–89, its lone Major League season, the team played at Lloyd Street Grounds, between 16th and 18th Streets in Milwaukee. After one year in Milwaukee the club relocated to St Louis, for a while enjoyed some success in the 1920s behind Hall of Fame first baseman George Sisler. However, the team's fortunes declined from on, as playing success and gate receipts instead went to the Browns' own tenants at Sportsman's Park, the National League Cardinals.
During this period the Browns only won one pennant, in the 1944 season stocked with wartime replacement players, lost to the Cardinals in the third and last World Series played in one ballpark. In 1953, with the Browns unable to afford stadium upkeep, owner Bill Veeck sold Sportsman's Park to the Cards and attempted to move the club back to Milwaukee, but this was vetoed by the other Major League owners. Instead, Veeck sold his franchise to a partnership of Baltimore businessmen; the Miles-Krieger -Hoffberger group renamed their new team the Baltimore Orioles soon after taking control of the franchise. The name has a rich history in Baltimore. In 1901, Baltimore and John McGraw were awarded an expansion franchise in the growing American League, naming the team the Orioles. After a battle with Ban Johnson, the Head of the American League in 1902, McGraw took many of the top players including Walter Scott "Steve" Brodie, Dan McGann, Roger Bresnahan, Joe McGinnity to the New York Giants; as an affront to Johnson, McGraw kept the black and orange colors of the New York Giants, which San Francisco wears to this day.
In 1903, the franchise—the remaining players and debts, the corporation—was transferred to New York where they were nicknamed the Highlanders until circa 1912, by which time Yanks or Yankees had taken over as their popular moniker. As a member of the high-minor league level International League, the Orioles competed at what is now known as the AAA level from 1903 to 1953; when Oriole Park burned down in 1944, the team moved to a temporary home, Municipal Stadium, where they won the Junior World Series. Their large postseason crowds caught the attention of the major leagues leading to a new MLB franchise in Baltimore. After starting the 1954 campaign with a two-game split agai
In baseball statistics, a hit called a base hit, is credited to a batter when the batter safely reaches first base after hitting the ball into fair territory, without the benefit of an error or a fielder's choice. To achieve a hit, the batter must reach first base before any fielder can either tag him with the ball, throw to another player protecting the base before the batter reaches it, or tag first base while carrying the ball; the hit is scored the moment. If a batter reaches first base because of offensive interference by a preceding runner, he is credited with a hit. A hit for one base is called a single, for two bases a double, for three bases a triple. A home run is scored as a hit. Doubles and home runs are called extra base hits. An "infield hit" is a hit. Infield hits are uncommon by nature, most earned by speedy runners. A no-hitter is a game. Throwing a no-hitter is rare and considered an extraordinary accomplishment for a pitcher or pitching staff. In most cases in the professional game, no-hitters are accomplished by a single pitcher who throws a complete game.
A pitcher who throws a no-hitter could still allow runners to reach base safely, by way of walks, hit batsmen, or batter reaching base due to interference or obstruction. If the pitcher allows no runners to reach base in any manner whatsoever, the no-hitter is a perfect game. In 1887, Major League Baseball counted bases on balls as hits; the result was skyrocketing batting averages, including some near.500. The experiment was abandoned the following season. There is controversy regarding; the number of legitimate walks and at-bats are known for all players that year, so computing averages using the same method as in other years is straightforward. In 1968, Major League Baseball formed a Special Baseball Records Committee to resolve this issues; the Committee ruled. In 2000, Major League Baseball reversed its decision, ruling that the statistics which were recognized in each year's official records should stand in cases where they were proven incorrect. Most current sources list O'Neill's 1887 average as.435.
He would retain his American Association batting championship. However, the variance between methods results in differing recognition for the 1887 National League batting champion. Cap Anson would be recognized, with his.421 average, if walks are included, but Sam Thompson would be the champion at.372 if they are not. The official rulebook of Major League Baseball states in Rule 10.05: The official scorer shall credit a batter with a base hit when: the batter reaches first base safely on a fair ball that settles on the ground, that touches a fence before being touched by a fielder or that clears a fence. The batter reaches first base safely on a fair ball that takes an unnatural bounce so that a fielder cannot handle it with ordinary effort, or that touches the pitcher's plate or any base before being touched by a fielder and bounces so that a fielder cannot handle the ball with ordinary effort. Rule 10.05 Comment: In applying Rule 10.05, the official scorer shall always give the batter the benefit of the doubt.
A safe course for the official scorer to follow is to score a hit when exceptionally good fielding of a ball fails to result in a putout. The official scorer shall not credit a base hit when a: runner is forced out by a batted ball, or would have been forced out except for a fielding error; the official scorer shall charge the batter with an at-bat but not a hit. The official scorer shall charge the batter with an at-bat but not a hit.
First base, or 1B, is the first of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a baserunner to score a run for that player's team. A first baseman is the player on the team playing defense who fields the area nearest first base, is responsible for the majority of plays made at that base. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the first baseman is assigned the number 3. Called first sacker or cornerman, the first baseman is ideally a tall player who throws left-handed and possesses good flexibility and quick reflexes. Flexibility is needed because the first baseman receives throws from the other infielders, the catcher and the pitcher after they have fielded ground balls. In order for the runner to be called out, the first baseman must be able to stretch towards the throw and catch it before the runner reaches first base. First base is referred to as "the other hot corner"—the "hot corner" being third base—and therefore, like the third baseman, he must have quick reflexes to field the hardest hit balls down the foul line by left-handed pull hitters and right-handed hitters hitting to the opposite field.
They are power hitters who have a substantial number of home runs and extra base hits while maintaining a.270 plus batting average. Good defensive first basemen, according to baseball writer and historian Bill James, are capable of playing off first base so that they can field ground balls hit to the fair side of first base; the first baseman relies upon the pitcher to cover first base to receive the ball to complete the out. Indications of a good defensive first baseman include a large number of assists and a low number of throwing errors by other infielders; the nature of play at first base requires first basemen to stay close to the bag to hold runners or to reach the bag before the batter. First basemen are not expected to have the range required of a third baseman, second baseman or an outfielder; as a result, first base is not perceived to be as physically demanding as other positions. However, it can be a hard position to play. Though many play at first base their entire career, it is common for veteran players to be moved to first base to extend their careers or to accommodate other acquired players.
Facing a possible trade or a considerable reduction in playing time, a player will opt to move to first base instead. Catchers and corner outfielders are moved to first base due to deteriorating health or if their fielding abilities at their original position are detrimental to the team. Unlike the pitcher and catcher, who must start every play in a designated area the first baseman and the other fielders can vary their positioning in response to what they anticipate will be the actions of the batter and runner once play begins; when first base is not occupied by a baserunner, the first baseman stands behind first base and off the foul line. The distance he plays from the base and foul line is dependent on the current hitter and any runners on base; the exact position may depend on the first baseman's experience and fielding ability. For a known right-handed pull hitter, the first baseman might position himself further towards the second baseman's normal fielding position. For a known left-handed pull hitter, the first baseman will position himself closer to the foul line to stop a ball hit down the line.
To protect against a bunt on the first base side of the infield, the first baseman will position himself in front of the base and move towards the hitter as the pitch is thrown. As soon as the pitcher commits to throwing towards home plate, the first baseman will charge towards the hitter to field the bunt. During these plays, it is the responsibility of the second baseman to cover first base. With a base runner present at first base, the first baseman stands with his right foot touching the base to prepare for a pickoff attempt. Once the pitcher commits to throwing towards home plate, the first baseman comes off the bag in front of the runner and gets in a fielding position. If the bases are loaded, or if the runner on first base is not a base stealing threat, the first baseman will position himself behind the runner and appropriate for the current batter; when waiting for a throw from another player, the first baseman stands with his off-glove foot touching the base stretches toward the throw.
This stretch decreases the amount of time it takes the throw to get to first and encourages the umpire to call close plays in favor of the fielding team. Veteran first basemen are known to pull off the bag early on close plays to convince the umpire that the ball reached his glove before the runner reached first base; the first baseman has the responsibility of cutting off throws from any of the three outfield positions on their way to home plate. Though situational, the first baseman only receives throws from the center or right fielder; the first baseman is at the end of a double play, though he can be at the beginning and end of a double play. Unusual double plays involving the first baseman include the 3–6–3, 3–4–3, 3–2–3, or a 3–6–1 double play. In a 3–6–3 or 3–4–3 double play, the first baseman fields the ball, throws to second, where the shortstop or second baseman catches the ball to make the first out and throws back to the first baseman who reaches first base in time to tag first base before the batter reaches first base.
For a 3–2–3 double play, the bases must be loaded for the force-out at home plate or the catcher must tag the runner coming from
In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throws the baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the pitcher is assigned the number 1; the pitcher is considered the most important player on the defensive side of the game, as such is situated at the right end of the defensive spectrum. There are many different types of pitchers, such as the starting pitcher, relief pitcher, middle reliever, lefty specialist, setup man, the closer. Traditionally, the pitcher bats. Starting in 1973 with the American League and spreading to further leagues throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the hitting duties of the pitcher have been given over to the position of designated hitter, a cause of some controversy; the National League in Major League Baseball and the Japanese Central League are among the remaining leagues that have not adopted the designated hitter position.
In most cases, the objective of the pitcher is to deliver the pitch to the catcher without allowing the batter to hit the ball with the bat. A successful pitch is delivered in such a way that the batter either allows the pitch to pass through the strike zone, swings the bat at the ball and misses it, or hits the ball poorly. If the batter elects not to swing at the pitch, it is called a strike if any part of the ball passes through the strike zone and a ball when no part of the ball passes through the strike zone. A check swing is when the batter begins to swing, but stops the swing short. If the batter checks the swing and the pitch is out of the strike zone, it is called a ball. There are the windup and the set position or stretch. Either position may be used at any time; each position has certain procedures. A balk can be called on a pitcher from either position. A power pitcher is one. Power pitchers record a high percentage of strikeouts. A control pitcher thus records few walks. Nearly all action during a game is centered on the pitcher for the defensive team.
A pitcher's particular style, time taken between pitches, skill influence the dynamics of the game and can determine the victor. Starting with the pivot foot on the pitcher's rubber at the center of the pitcher's mound, 60 feet 6 inches from home plate, the pitcher throws the baseball to the catcher, positioned behind home plate and catches the ball. Meanwhile, a batter stands in the batter's box at one side of the plate, attempts to bat the ball safely into fair play; the type and sequence of pitches chosen depend upon the particular situation in a game. Because pitchers and catchers must coordinate each pitch, a system of hand signals is used by the catcher to communicate choices to the pitcher, who either vetoes or accepts by shaking his head or nodding; the relationship between pitcher and catcher is so important that some teams select the starting catcher for a particular game based on the starting pitcher. Together, the pitcher and catcher are known as the battery. Although the object and mechanics of pitching remain the same, pitchers may be classified according to their roles and effectiveness.
The starting pitcher begins the game, he may be followed by various relief pitchers, such as the long reliever, the left-handed specialist, the middle reliever, the setup man, and/or the closer. In Major League Baseball, every team uses Baseball Rubbing Mud to rub game balls in before their pitchers use them in games. A skilled pitcher throws a variety of different pitches to prevent the batter from hitting the ball well; the most basic pitch is a fastball. Some pitchers are able to throw a fastball at a speed over 100 miles per ex. Aroldis Chapman. Other common types of pitches are the curveball, changeup, sinker, forkball, split-fingered fastball and knuckleball; these are intended to have unusual movement or to deceive the batter as to the rotation or velocity of the ball, making it more difficult to hit. Few pitchers throw all of these pitches, but most use a subset or blend of the basic types; some pitchers release pitches from different arm angles, making it harder for the batter to pick up the flight of the ball.
A pitcher, throwing well on a particular day is said to have brought his "good stuff." There are a number of distinct throwing styles used by pitchers. The most common style is a three-quarters delivery in which the pitcher's arm snaps downward with the release of the ball; some pitchers use a sidearm delivery. Some pitchers use a submarine style in which the pitcher's body tilts downward on delivery, creating an exaggerated sidearm motion in which the pitcher's knuckles come close to the mound. Effective pitching is vitally important in baseball. In baseball statistics, for each game, one pitcher will be credited with winning the game, one pitcher will be charged with losing it; this is not the starting pitchers for each team, however, as a reliever can get a win and the starter would get a no-decision. Pitching is physically demanding if the pitcher is throwing with maximum effort. A full game involves 120–170 pitches thrown by each team, most pitchers begin to tire before they re
The Chicago Cubs are an American professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the National League Central division; the team plays its home games at Wrigley Field, located on the city's North Side. The Cubs are one of two major league teams in Chicago; the Cubs, first known as the White Stockings, were a founding member of the NL in 1876, becoming the Chicago Cubs in 1903. The Cubs have appeared in a total of eleven World Series; the 1906 Cubs won 116 games, finishing 116–36 and posting a modern-era record winning percentage of.763, before losing the World Series to the Chicago White Sox by four games to two. The Cubs won back-to-back World Series championships in 1907 and 1908, becoming the first major league team to play in three consecutive World Series, the first to win it twice. Most the Cubs won the 2016 National League Championship Series and 2016 World Series, which ended a 71-year National League pennant drought and a 108-year World Series championship drought, both of which are record droughts in Major League Baseball.
The 108-year drought was the longest such occurrence in all major North American sports. Since the start of divisional play in 1969, the Cubs have appeared in the postseason nine times through the 2017 season; the Cubs are known as "the North Siders", a reference to the location of Wrigley Field within the city of Chicago, in contrast to the White Sox, whose home field is located on the South Side. The Cubs have multiple rivalries. There is a divisional rivalry with the St. Louis Cardinals, a newer rivalry with the Milwaukee Brewers and an interleague rivalry with the Chicago White Sox; the Cubs began playing in 1870 as the Chicago White Stockings, joining the National League in 1876 as a charter member. Owner William Hulbert signed multiple star players, such as pitcher Albert Spalding and infielders Ross Barnes, Deacon White, Adrian "Cap" Anson, to join the team prior to the N. L.'s first season. The White Stockings played their home games at West Side Grounds and established themselves as one of the new league's top teams.
Spalding won forty-seven games and Barnes led the league in hitting at.429 as Chicago won the first National League pennant, which at the time was the game's top prize. After back-to-back pennants in 1880 and 1881, Hulbert died, Spalding, who had retired to start Spalding sporting goods, assumed ownership of the club; the White Stockings, with Anson acting as player-manager, captured their third consecutive pennant in 1882, Anson established himself as the game's first true superstar. In 1885 and'86, after winning N. L. pennants, the White Stockings met the champions of the short-lived American Association in that era's version of a World Series. Both seasons resulted in matchups with the St. Louis Brown Stockings, with the clubs tying in 1885 and with St. Louis winning in 1886; this was the genesis of what would become one of the greatest rivalries in sports. In all, the Anson-led Chicago Base Ball Club won six National League pennants between 1876 and 1886; as a result, Chicago's club nickname transitioned, by 1890 they had become known as the Chicago Colts, or sometimes "Anson's Colts", referring to Cap's influence within the club.
Anson was the first player in history credited with collecting 3,000 career hits. After a disappointing record of 59–73 and a ninth-place finish in 1897, Anson was released by the Cubs as both a player and manager. Due to Anson's absence from the club after 22 years, local newspaper reporters started to refer to the Colts as the "Orphans". After the 1900 season, the American Base-Ball League formed as a rival professional league, incidentally the club's old White Stockings nickname would be adopted by a new American League neighbor to the south. In 1902, who by this time had revamped the roster to boast what would soon be one of the best teams of the early century, sold the club to Jim Hart; the franchise was nicknamed the Cubs by the Chicago Daily News in 1902, although not becoming the Chicago Cubs until the 1907 season. During this period, which has become known as baseball's dead-ball era, Cub infielders Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, Frank Chance were made famous as a double-play combination by Franklin P. Adams' poem Baseball's Sad Lexicon.
The poem first appeared in the July 1910 edition of the New York Evening Mail. Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, Jack Taylor, Ed Reulbach, Jack Pfiester, Orval Overall were several key pitchers for the Cubs during this time period. With Chance acting as player-manager from 1905 to 1912, the Cubs won four pennants and two World Series titles over a five-year span. Although they fell to the "Hitless Wonders" White Sox in the 1906 World Series, the Cubs recorded a record 116 victories and the best winning percentage in Major League history. With the same roster, Chicago won back-to-back World Series championships in 1907 and 1908, becoming the first Major League club to play three times in the Fall Classic and the first to win it twice. However, the Cubs would not win another World Series until 2016; the next season, veteran catcher Johnny Kling left the team to become a professional pocket billiards player. Some historians think Kling's absence was significant enough to prevent the Cubs from winning a third straight title in 1909, as they finished 6 games out of first place.
When Kling returned the next year, the Cubs won the pennant again, but lost to the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1910 World Series. In 1914, adver
The Montreal Expos were a Canadian professional baseball team based in Montreal, Quebec. The Expos were the first Major League Baseball franchise located outside the United States, they played in the National League East Division from 1969 until 2004. Following the 2004 season, the franchise relocated to Washington, D. C. and became the Washington Nationals. After the minor league Triple-A Montreal Royals folded in 1960, political leaders in Montreal sought an MLB franchise, when the National League evaluated expansion candidates for the 1969 season, it awarded a team to Montreal. Named after the Expo 67 World's Fair, the Expos played at Jarry Park Stadium before moving to Olympic Stadium in 1977; the Expos failed to post a winning record in any of their first ten seasons. The team won its only division title in the strike-shortened 1981 season, but lost the 1981 National League Championship Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers; the team was sold in 1991 by its majority, founding owner, Charles Bronfman, to a consortium headed by Claude Brochu.
Felipe Alou was promoted to the team's field manager in 1992, becoming MLB's first Dominican-born manager. He led the team to four winning seasons, including 1994, where the Expos had the best record in baseball before a players' strike ended the season. Alou became the Expos leader in games managed; the aftermath of the 1994 strike initiated a downward spiral as the Expos chose to sell off their best players, attendance and interest in the team declined. Major League Baseball purchased the team prior to the 2002 season after the club failed to secure funding for a new ballpark. In their final two seasons, the team played 22 home games each year at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. On September 29, 2004, MLB announced the franchise would relocate to Washington, D. C. for the 2005 season, the Expos played their final home game in Montreal. The Expos posted an all-time record of 2,753 wins, 2,943 losses and 4 ties during their 36 years in Montreal. Vladimir Guerrero led the franchise in both home runs and batting average, Steve Rogers in wins and strikeouts.
Three pitchers threw four no-hitters: Bill Stoneman, Charlie Lea, Dennis Martínez, who pitched the 13th official perfect game in Major League Baseball history. The Expos retired four numbers in Montreal, nine former members have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, with Gary Carter, Andre Dawson and Tim Raines' plaques depicting them with Expos caps. Professional baseball in Montreal dates back to 1890 when teams played in the International Association. A second attempt at hosting a pro team failed in 1895; the Montreal Royals of the Eastern League played 20 seasons. The Royals were revived in 1928 and were purchased by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1939 to serve as one of their Triple-A affiliates. Under Dodgers' management, the Royals won seven International League championships and three Junior World Series titles between 1941 and 1958. In 1946, Jackie Robinson joined the Royals and led the team to a Junior World Series title in advance of his breaking baseball's colour barrier one year later.
By the late 1950s, the Royals' championship years were past, faced with declining attendance, the team was sold and relocated following the 1960 season as the Dodgers reduced the number of teams they maintained at the AAA level. Upon the Royals' demise, Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau and city executive committee chairman Gerry Snyder began their campaign for a Major League Baseball team; the city, considered a leading candidate to acquire the St. Louis Browns if the team had relocated in 1933, was too late to submit its candidacy for a team as part of the National League's 1962 expansion but presented its bid to the league's owners at the winter meetings in 1967. Aiding Montreal's bid was the fact that Walter O'Malley, who owned the Dodgers and oversaw the Montreal Royals, was the chairman of the NL's expansion committee. On May 27, 1968, National League president Warren Giles announced the league would add expansion teams in San Diego and Montreal at a cost of US$10 million each. With the franchise secured, Snyder built an ownership group of six partners led by financier Jean-Louis Lévesque and Seagram heir Charles Bronfman.
Lévesque was tapped as chairman and the public face of the ownership group since he was a francophone. However, he bowed out, Bronfman took over as chairman; the new group was faced with the immediate problem of finding a suitable facility in which to play for at least two years. Drapeau had promised the NL that a domed stadium would be built by 1971. However, Snyder's successor as executive committee chairman, Lucien Saulnier, told Bronfman that Drapeau could not make such a guarantee on his own authority; as 1968 dragged on without movement from the city on a facility and his group threatened to walk away. While they had more than enough money between them to pay the first installment of the expansion fee, they wanted assurances that a park would be built before proceeding any further with the effort. Delorimier Stadium, which hosted the Royals, was rejected as a temporary facility; the Autostade, home of the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes, was ruled out due to the prohibitive cost of expanding it and adding a dome, as well as doubts that the city had the right to make the needed renovations to the federally-owned facility.
By August 1968, the NL owners had grown concerned about the unresolved stadium question, putting the franchise's future in doubt. There were rumours of awarding the