A former Sudbury journalist and longtime Montreal Expos fan has just released his sixth book about the team and the third in three years.
Danny Gallagher spent seven years in the Nickel City, working as a reporter at the Sudbury Star from 1975 to 1978. While in Sudbury, Gallagher helped create the Nickel Region Senior Baseball League, where he played and served in administrative roles.
"I played a lot of baseball while I was in Sudbury in the time I was working there," said Gallagher.
His passion for baseball has always been there and he was a fan of the Montreal Expos from their early days in the 1970s. It was a job opportunity in the home of the Expos that set Gallagher down the path he's carved, penning multiple books about the Montreal-based MLB franchise.
"In 1988, I got a job with a newspaper that's no longer in business, called the Montreal Daily News, and I was the sports copy editor. Then after a couple months, the sports editor put me on the Expos beat and since then I've been writing about the Expos for different media outlets and now I've written six books," said Gallagher.
"When I started covering the team that's when my passion for them really skyrocketed. I was always a fan back as far as 1969 when they started out. I grew up near Ottawa so I would go to games in Montreal. My interest and passion though really took off when I got that job with the Montreal Daily News."
Gallagher's most recent book, "Always Remembered: new revelations and old tales about those fabulous Expos," is a richly packed capsule about the team, featuring 51 chapters, 30 sidebars and charts of Expos memories from 1969-2004.
There are nearly 100 photos or illustrations throughout the book and over the course of researching, Gallagher conducted 94 interviews.
The Expos as a team are very much a phenomenon, as Gallagher puts it. The team was moved to Washington after the 2004 season, but there has been a rejuvenated interest in the team over the past eight or so years.
"From 2004 when they left for Washington until about 2012, the interest in Montreal baseball and returning the Expos was basically zero," said Gallagher.
"Then in 2012, Warren Cromartie, who played for the team in the '70s and part of the '80s, got the ball rolling to get the interest back by organizing reunions, and his beating of the drums got Major League Baseball and the Blue Jays involved in getting those exhibition games going in Montreal. Since Cromartie started doing this stuff the interest has really taken off again."
While Gallagher's past books have been more of a snapshot in time of the Expos, focusing on teams of a specific year or era, his latest work is an overarching look at the team's more than 30-year history, ripe with interviews with former players, players who were almost Expos and the former commissioner of the MLB, Bud Selig.
The interview that Gallagher had with Selig was an eye opener and pushed the former Expos beat writer to reasses his opinion of the man who is much maligned among Montreal Expos faithful.
"Bug Selig has been crapped on by Expos fans over the years for the way the team left Montreal in 2004 and how it was handled from 2002 to 2004 when Major League Baseball owned the team. No single owner owned the team, it was sold to Major League Baseball and it was kind of a farce," said Gallagher.
"I think he's been given an unfair wrap and he kind of turned it on the Expos fans. He tells me that he made a big effort to try to get Montreal ownership people to try to keep the team in Montreal, so I've had a better appreciation for Bud Selig after this interview."
Perhaps one of the most well-known athletes of all time will forever be linke with the Montreal Expos, despite never suiting up for them in a professional baseball game.
The athlete in question? Tom Brady. Yes, that Tom Brady.
The longtime New England Patriots quarterback was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1995, and while Gallagher couldn't wrangle him for an interview, he did manage to get Tom Brady Sr., Tom's father on the phone.
"His father talked to me about Tom going down to Candlestick Park in San Francisco and had a bit of a tryout," said Gallagher. "That's a really interesting chapter, there's a lot of thing and little nuggets and secrets unlocked that people don't know about that are in the book."
More than the big names associated with the team and the cornerstones that helped shape the franchise that once was, Gallagher says that he has a soft spot for the underdogs, the players that had brief stints with the team or who never grabbed headlines as star players.
"I like to give credit to part-time players, underdogs who don't get much credit for what they did," said Gallagher. "I've always liked talking to the guys who didn't play much, but they were part of the team and contributed, they may not have been stars but they were there."
Book stores may be closed for the time being, but you can pick up a copy of Always Remembered: new revelations and old tales about those fabulous Expos online at Chapters/Indigo.
If you're interested in a signed copy, you can contact Danny Gallagher at email@example.com.