February 14, 2012

Happy (Ellis) Valentine's Day!

In a couple of months, we'll be celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Montreal Expos moving their home games to Olympic Stadium.  And did you know, on April 15, 1977, Expos outfielder Ellis Valentine hit the ballpark's first home run.

It's true...dude took the league's eventual Cy Young Award winner Steve Carlton deep in the third inning.

I had a chance to catch up with Valentine earlier today...fittingly, Valentine's Day.

HOVG: While you played, you were regarded as having one of the best outfield arms in Majors.   Matter of fact, just last week, Mike Francesa and Andre Dawson talked about your throwing prowess during Francesa's radio show on WFAN in New York.  Conversely, whose arm frightened you and why?

VALENTINE: None really. If you were a good base runner you had respect for those that could throw well.

HOVG: You played alongside and, in the case of Dick Williams, for a number of Hall of Famers and Hall of Fame-caliber players. What can you tell me about Andre Dawson?

VALENTINE: The Hawk was a good player, very committed th his talent.

HOVG: How about Tim Raines and his qualifications?

VALENTINE: There are too many to list!

Ellis Valentine played ten seasons in the Majors...seven of them with the Montreal Expos.  In the team's history, he ranks seventh in career batting average (.288) and slugging percentage (.476).  Currently, the 1977 All-Star lives and works in the Dallas ara.


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