WASHINGTON -- For the first time since moving from Montreal to D.C. in 2005, the Nationals are breaking out throwback Expos uniforms.
The Nats will don powder-blue Expos jerseys and pants as well as the classic Expos cap as they celebrate the 1969 Expos when they host the Royals on July 6 at Nationals Park. It’s all part of a night-long celebration of the Expos' inaugural season and the '60s as Nationals Park turns into a quasi-Olympic Stadium for a night.
Both the Royals and Expos were part of a four-team expansion by Major League Baseball in 1969, joining San Diego and Seattle. Kansas City is expected to wear a version of its original gray road uniforms. The Expos' uniforms were also their original road uniforms; the Nationals chose that style rather than the Expos' original home uniforms.
The throwback theme will extend beyond the field as well. The Expos will be honored during a special pregame ceremony, live music from the 1960s will be featured on the Budweiser Terrace leading up to the game and the concession stands will be filled with Quebec-inspired food including poutine and Montreal smoked meat sandwiches.
Expos legend and 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Vladimir Guerrero will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The outfielder averaged 33 homers, 100 RBIs and 173 hits a season in his seven full seasons with the Expos from 1997-2003. He is the franchise leader in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.
A few members of the organization still have ties to the Expos, including manager Dave Martinez, who played for four seasons with Montreal from 1988-91; and third-base coach Bobby Henley, who played for the Expos during his brief Major League career in 1998 before joining the organization as a coach in 2003. Henley has been with the organization since, relocating with the club from Montreal. Color commentator F.P. Santangelo also spent four seasons with Montreal from 1995-98.
"It will bring back some memories," Martinez said about wearing the Expos uniforms. "I'm not going to wear them as tight as I used to, that’s for sure."