Washington Nationals Pre-History: Pete Rose’s One Season In Montreal


With Pete Rose in the headlines this week, we look back at his one season with the Montreal Expos

In our latest installment of Washington Nationals pre-history, I wanted to look back at the 1984 Montreal Expos. The reason for that is it featured a player that has been in the news this week, Pete Rose. On Monday, commissioner Rob Manfred denied Rose reinstatement back into the game after being banned from baseball in 1989 for betting on games when he was player/manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

Back in January 1984, the Expos signed Rose to a one-year deal after the organization finished 82-80 in 1983 (third in the NL East). Rose was coming off of a season with the Phillies where he hit .245 with 45 RBI’s at the age of 42, but he did play in 151 games. Philadelphia lost the World Series that year to the Orioles in five games.

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During the ’84 season, Expos’ manager Bill Virdon used Rose as both a first baseman and a left fielder. On April 13, the Expos would take on Rose’s former team, the Phillies. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Rose doubled to right against Jerry Koosman to record his 4,000th career hit. Montreal would go on to win the game, 5-1.

Throughout his time with the Expos, Rose had a slash line of .259/.334/.295 with 23 RBI’s. While his numbers weren’t great, he did have five games in which he recorded three hits. However, the Expos were 41-43 in the first half of the season and their best month was in April, when the team went 12-10.

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On August 16, the Expos dealt “Charlie Hustle” back to the Cincinnati Reds for utility player Tom Lawless. Lawless only played 11 games with the Expos and was later dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals in March of 1985. As for the rest of the Expos, they finished the season 78-83 (fifth in the NL East). Virdon would ended up being fired late in the season and was replaced by Jim Fanning.

As for the Rose decision this week, I agreed with Commissioner Manfred because Rose has not shown that his life has changed since the initial ban was handed down. While he is one of the greatest players to ever play the game and the allt-time hit king, it was a risk Manfred didn’t need to take. However, I wonder if he was on the Hall Of Fame ballot, would the writers vote him in as a player? But, that’s another discussion for another day.