The Montreal Expos have had some great players wear the uniform over the years, including Tony Perez, and Expos Reloaded would like to highlight them to all in a new way.
In effort to bridge the gap between older Expos fans and younger generation, Expos Reloaded presents a Top 50 Expos of all time – according to WAR (as noted by Fangraphs) – series. (min 162 GP with Expos, not Nationals)
What will come out of this work should be interesting, giving us a view of how each player measures up according to today’s most popular statistics.
An update on what else these players were famous for, what they’re up to now, and where you can catch them on social media will also be included, as well as someof the better videos and interviews we can round up.
By all means, if you have fond memories and stories you’d like to share about these players, this is the perfect place to do so.
Hopefully you’ll enjoy ready through the series as much as it was fun compiling it!
Next up on our list is a guy who fell in love with broadcasting once his playing time ended…
Birthdate: 5/14/1942 (75) Size: 6’2″ 205 lbs Bats/Throws: R/R
“I could feel it in my bones, how I missed the heat of my country and the love of my family” – Tony Perez
“How can anyone as slow as you pull a muscle?” – Pete Rose to Tony Perez
“A Hall-of-Famer popped into my mind when Paul Swydan wrote about Eric Hosmer’s sub-par 100-RBI season. He didn’t make it onto Paul’s list of players with comparable campaigns — he didn’t have negative WAR — but Tony Perez came close.
Perez is known mostly for his time with Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine, but the season in question came in 1980, with the Boston Red Sox. Perez had 161 hits and 25 home runs — identical to Hosmer’s 2016 totals — and his 105 RBI were one more than the Kansas City first baseman. Their slash lines were in the same ballpark.
Digging a little deeper — but not too deep — Perez owns a 108-101 edge in adjusted OPS. Hosmer has an edge of his own. Perez hit .278/.362/.444 with RISP, while Hosmer hit .309/.363/.500 with RISP.
Is there anything particularly meaningful about the comp? Not really. I simply found it interesting.” – David Laurila, Fangraphs
And his HOF speech can be seen below,
Montreal Expos Stats: 3 seasons
1977: 154 GP / 630 PA / 158 H / 32 DB / 6 TR / 19 HR / 4 SB (2 CS)
1978: 148 GP / 590 PA / 158 H / 38 DB / 3 TR / 14 HR / 2 SB (0 CS)
1979: 132 GP / 547 PA / 132 H / 29 DB / 4 TR / 13 HR / 2 SB (1 CS)
1977: 10.0% BB%, 17.5% SO%, .181 ISO, .317 BAbip, .351 wOBA, 115 wRC+
1978: 6.4% BB%, 17.6% SO%, .158 ISO, .334 BAbip, .347 wOBA, 118 wRC+
1979: 7.1% BB%, 15.3% SO%, .155 ISO, .297 BAbip, .329 wOBA, 104 wRC+
TOTAL WAR WITH EXPOS: 7.3
é, ExR Thoughts
Although his stay with the Expos was shorter than #49 and #50 on our list, Tony Perez had a more significant impact on the team’s success. Expos fans were lucky as they got to see Perez play for the team while he was at the back end of his prime, not after. He brought a presence and pedigree that enabled the team to take another step forward and build momentum as they gathered young talent.
As Johnny Bench once noted,
“Tony cast a net over the entire team with his attitude. He was always up, always had a sense of humor.”
It was during his final season with the team, in 1979, that they enjoyed the most success, winning 95 games and losing only 65. That placed them 2nd in the division 2 games back from the Pirates. And if you ask Reds fans, they’ll likely agree that trading Perez to the Expos is what cost the team two playoff appearances as well as one World Series appearance from 1977 to 1979.
Tony Perez brought to the Expos a wealth of experience, a positive and contagious personality, and an even performance that you could count on whether vs both LHP or RHP.
Tony Perez also had a tremendous impact on the young players the Expos brought in, including 2 former Hall of Famers – Andre Dawson and Gary Carter. It’s not by accident that both Perez and Dawson wound up working with the Miami Marlins for 20 years before deciding to leave the organization last fall, stating differences on many levels as the cause of their departure.
The Montreal Expos organization as a whole was lucky to pry Perez away from their Big Red Machine, and he’ll forever remain one of the greats to ever bless the Expos uniform with his presence.
Nicknames: “Big Dog”, “Big Doggie”, “Doggie”, and “The Mayor of Riverfront”
Key member of the Reds “Big Red Machine”
Wore Number: 24 while with Expos
Played for: Cincinnati, Montreal, Boston, and Philadelphia
Highest WAR season (with Expos): 3.2 WAR
MLB Debut – Jul 26, 1964 (Age 22) vs. PIT
Acquired: Traded by Reds w/Will McEnaney to Expos for Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray
Expos Departure: Granted Free Agency Nov 1st 1979
Most similar: Harold Baines
Played for a total of: 23 seasons
Last game played: Oct 5, 1986 (Age 44) vs. SDP
Career Earnings –$1,824,998
é: Extra Reading and Sources
- Fangraphs Stats used above here
- A 326-page biography, “Tony Pérez: From Cuba to Cooperstown” by John Erardi, will be released on April 2, 2018.
- Hall of Fame page here.
- Britannica page here.
Montreal Expos Top 50 by ExR List
- No 50 – LHP, Chris Nabholz
- No 49 – OF/INF F.P. Santangelo
- No 48 – 1B Tony Perez
– Mat Germain, baseball writer for Expos Reloaded and SB Nation’s DRaysBay, with more than 10 years covering the Toronto Blue Jays (Jays Journal) and Tampa Bay Rays. Still serving in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Reservist and Operations Officer for 413 Search and Rescue Squadron in Greenwood, Nova Scotia. Follow Mat on Twitter @MatGermain76.