The Blue Jays-Red Sox game in Montreal featured more standing ovations than a State of the Union
Once upon a time in a land far, far away (Montreal), there was an MLB franchise named the Expos. On Friday -- 12 years after the Expos pulled a Mr. Smith and went to Washington -- the Red Sox and Blue Jays ventured back to Montreal's Olympic Stadium for an exhibition series leading up to Opening Day 2016.
With baseball back in Montreal, the record-setting 52,682 fans at The O were more than just a little excited, and they proved it by doling out a handful of standing ovations for some of the most charismatic stars to grace an MLB field over the last 20 years.
First, a pregame ceremony honoring former Expo greats saw the fans rise from their seats to honor three-time AL Cy Young Award winner, life of the party and 2015 Hall of Fame inductee Pedro Martinez:
Pedro's former Expos teammate, Tim Raines -- he of 808 career steals -- also received a warm welcome during the pregame ceremony:
The rabid Montreal faithful again rose to their feet and offered a clammoring applause in honor of former Expo and 2004 AL MVP, Vladimir Guerrero:
Then, once the pleasantries were ostensibly finished and it was time for baseball, visiting designated hitter David Ortiz stepped up to the plate for his first at-bat. As Big Papi is set to hang 'em up at the end of the forthcoming season, the Montreal fans decided that he, too, had earned a standing ovation:
Somehow their feet and hands were not yet blistered, because the fans again rose from their seats to welcome Blue Jays catcher and native Canadian Russell Martin to the plate in the bottom of the second:
This is where we'd put an Oprah meme, if we weren't entirely convinced that each and every one of the above men had more than earned the adulation they received on Friday night.