In 2017, one of my first “Conversations with Clayton” was with Danny Gallagher, the bard of the Montreal Expos. Over the course of a five decade career in journalism, Gallagher has written about the club for the Montreal Daily News, Ottawa Sun and the Globe and Mail, for whom he also covered the Blue Jays. He has written six books on the Montreal Expos and ten books in total.
Gallagher returns with Always Remembered: New Revelations and Old Tales about those Fabulous Expos. In a wide ranging discussion, Danny and I talk about the new book, Olympic Stadium, and Montreal’s chances for getting another big league team.
Clayton Trutor (CT): What gave you the idea to write a book about unknown or unfamiliar stories about the Expos?
Danny Gallagher (DG): I wanted to give fans exposure to facts, information and stories that were largely untold. I wanted to serve up new memories, nuggets and unlocked secrets. I wanted to give credit and homage to not only the star players from the Expos franchise but also many part-timers, who were just as important to a team’s success.
CT: What’s the biggest misconception about the Montreal Expos?
DG: That they played in a hockey-mad market and that baseball played second fiddle.
CT: I love the cover photo of Gary Carter. What’s the story behind the photo?
DG: The photo of Carter is tied in with the title of the book: Always Remembered. Carter died in 2012 but he will always be remembered and never be forgotten. The title of the book also pertains to the franchise itself, gone but always remembered. In the photo, Carter is shown with an outfielder’s glove because he played some outfield before he was switched to catching.
CT: What’s your writing process like?
DG: I’m a story-teller and a reporter. I love telling stories that have never been told before and I love breaking stories. I’ve been an enterprise reporter since I started in the business in 1972.
CT: How did Montreal fans react to Pete Rose’s brief tenure with the Expos?
DG: Expos fans for the most part were happy to see him play during the 1984 season even though he was pretty much over the hill at age 42. Expos management thought he might still have fire in the belly so they signed him as a free agent.
CT: What do you miss most about baseball at Olympic Stadium?
DG: I don’t know that I miss the place. It was huge and cavernous but it was still a home for Major League Baseball games from 1977-2004. I enjoyed being there covering the Expos for so many years.
CT: How have you found the Blue Jays exhibition games in recent years at Olympic Stadium?
DG: Those games reinforced to MLB officials that Montreal can support the return of another team. It’s been an opportunity for Montreal fans, Quebec fans and other spectators from other venues to see spring-training games in person.
CT: What are the chances of big league baseball returning to Montreal?
DG: There’s probably a good chance that a big-league team will return in the near future, either through expansion or relocation of a team such as Tampa Bay or Miami, although the pandemic could delay things.
CT: What advice would you give to young journalists on interviewing public figures?
DG: Get your homework and research done before the interview starts so the public figure will be convinced you are up to snuff.
Follow Danny Gallagher on Twitter: @dannogallagher7
Buy your copy today of Always Remembered: New Revelations and Old Tales about those Fabulous Expos