2003 Montreal Expos season
|2003 Montreal Expos|
|Major League affiliations|
|Owner(s)||Major League Baseball|
|General manager(s)||Omar Minaya|
Réseau des sports|
(Rodger Brulotte, Denis Casavant)
(Mitch Melnick, Elliott Price, guest minor league play-by-play broadcasters)
(Jacques Doucet, Marc Griffin)
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The 2003 Montreal Expos season was the 35th season for the Expos in Montreal and its penultimate season in Canada. It involved the Expos attempting to win the NL East. On August 28, 2003, the Expos led the NL Wild Card, tied for first place with the Marlins, Astros, Phillies, and Cardinals, but faded away in the stretch and failed to make the postseason, finishing 18 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East and 8 games back of the Florida Marlins in the Wild Card.
After holding spring training at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, from 1998 through 2002, the Expos moved to Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida, for spring training in 2003. The move to Viera came about as the result of a deal in which Major League Baseball bought the Expos from Jeffrey Loria, who then purchased the Florida Marlins; as part of the deal, the Marlins traded spring training sites with the Expos, moving from Viera to Jupiter. The franchise, as the Expos in 2003 and 2004 and then from 2005 as the Washington Nationals, would hold spring training at Space Coast Stadium through 2016.
- June 24, 2003 – Brad Wilkerson hit for the cycle in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
- August 26, 2003 – The Expos rallied from being down 8-0 and 10-3 to claim a 14-10 win against the Philadelphia Phillies and be within two games of the National League Wild Card. It was the second biggest comeback in Expos history.
- September 14, 2003 – Vladimir Guerrero hits for the cycle against the New York Mets.
On August 30, 2002, MLB signed a collective bargaining agreement with the players association, which prohibited contraction through the end of the agreement in 2006.
Ultimately, the Expos finished 8 games behind the Wild Card (and World Series Champion) Florida Marlins.
Although their attendance increased from 7,935 per game in 2001 to 10,031 in 2002, MLB decided that the Expos would play 22 of their home games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2003. Despite being a considerably smaller facility (it seats approximately 19,000) than Montreal's Olympic Stadium, attendance in San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium averaged 14,222, compared with 12,081 in Montreal. The Puerto Rican baseball fans embraced "Los Expos" (particularly Puerto Rican players José Vidro, Javier Vázquez and Wil Cordero, and other Latin players like Vladimir Guerrero and Liván Hernández) as their home team (as well as the Latin players from other teams), all the while hoping the team would make a permanent move to Puerto Rico. Thanks in part to the San Juan games, the Expos were able to draw over a million fans at home in 2003 for the first time since 1997. The Expos' season in Puerto Rico was chronicled in the MLB-produced DVD Boricua Beisbol – Passion of Puerto Rico.
Opening Day starters
National League East
|New York Mets||66||95||0.410||34½||34–46||32–49|
Record vs. opponents
2003 National League Records
- August 20, 2003: Todd Zeile was signed as a Free Agent with the Montreal Expos.
|2003 Montreal Expos|
|Bold||Expos team member|
|2003 Game Log|
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
- Liván Hernández, National League Pitcher of the Month, July
- Games the Montreal Expos played at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, during the 2003 season counted as Expos home games.
- The two games on May 10 were played as a single-admission doubleheader with attendance counted only for the two games combined.
- The two games on June 1 were played as a single-admission doubleheader with attendance counted only for the two games combined.
- The two games on June 18 were played as a single-admission doubleheader with attendance counted only for the two games combined.
- "Deal in place, games go on" (Press release). MLB.com. August 30, 2002. Retrieved December 28, 2006.
- Montreal Expos (2002). Expos Media Guide 2002.
- Montreal Expos (2003). Expos Media Guide 2003.
- Montreal Expos (2004). Expos Media Guide 2004.
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007