Pearson Cup

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Montreal Expos – Toronto Blue Jays
  
History
First meeting June 1997
Location {{{first_location}}}
Last meeting July 2004
Location {{{last_location}}}
Next meeting N/A
Location {{{next_location}}}
Number of meetings 43
Regular season series 24–19, Blue Jays
Largest victory 7–3 Montreal, 1982
Current streak Inactive
Longest Expos win streak 1 game (5 times)
Longest Blue Jays win streak 2 games (1983–1984)

The Pearson Cup was an annual midseason Major League Baseball exhibition game between former Canadian rivals, the Toronto Blue Jays and Montreal Expos. Named after former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, it was originally created to raise money for minor league baseball in Canada. In later years, it was incorporated into the interleague baseball schedule.

The series began in 1978, and ran until 1986.[1] Due to a strike, no game was played in 1981.[2] In 2003 the series was revived as part of the Blue Jays-Expos interleague rivalry.[3] It continued on into the 2004 season, before the Expos moved to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals. The cup is now on display in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Mary's, Ontario.

Results[edit]

From 1978–1986, the Cup was awarded after a one game exhibition, that had no effect on the major league standings. The game was suspended in 1987 as the two teams could not find a mutually agreeable date to play the game.[4] There was discussion about reviving the game in the preseason, or playing it in another Canadian city such as Vancouver, but this never took place.[5][6][7] However, the Jays did play a three game exhibition series against the Milwaukee Brewers at BC Place in Vancouver prior to both the 1984 and 1985 seasons[8][9] (the Vancouver Canadians were the AAA farm team of the Brewers at the time[10]), as well as single games against the Detroit Tigers and Brewers in 1993,[11][12] and against the Montreal Expos and Seattle Mariners in 1994 in a series billed as the "Baseball Classic".[13][14][15][16] The Jays also played the Cleveland Indians in an exhibition game at War Memorial Stadium in nearby Buffalo, New York in 1987,[17] and played two exhibition games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal against the New York Mets prior to the start of the 2014 season.[18] The team has discussed playing more games at BC Place with the President of the Vancouver Canadians.[19][20][21]

During the 2003 and 2004 series, the Cup was awarded after a six game set, three in Toronto and three in Montreal.[3] These games did count toward the major league standings and were during the regular season. The 1979 and 1985 games were abandoned as ties due to time constraints; in 1979 the Expos had to catch an airplane flight,[22] while in 1985 the Jays had to catch a flight.[23][24]

Single exhibition games
 Season  Date   Location   Visiting team  Runs   Home team   Attendance   Ref   Cumulative
record 
1978 June 29 Olympic Stadium Toronto 4–5(10) Montreal 20,221 [25] Montreal 1–0–0
1979 April 19 Exhibition Stadium Montreal 4–4(11) Toronto 21,564 [22] Montreal 1–0–1
1980 July 31 Olympic Stadium Toronto 1–3 Montreal 6,731 [26] Montreal 2–0–1
1981 July 6 Exhibition Stadium Cancelled due to players' strike [27][2] Montreal 2–0–1
1982 Sept. 2 Exhibition Stadium Montreal 7–3 Toronto 23,102 [28] Montreal 3–0–1
1983 May 5 Olympic Stadium Toronto 7–5 Montreal 8,291 [29] Montreal 3–1–1
1984 May 24 Exhibition Stadium Montreal 5–6(13) Toronto 24,768 [30] Montreal 3–2–1
1985 May 9 Olympic Stadium Toronto 2–2(11) Montreal 11,075 [23] Montreal 3–2–2
1986 April 28 Exhibition Stadium Montreal 2–5 Toronto 16,786 [31] Tied 3–3–2
Regular season series
 Season   Date   Location  Visiting team  Games  Home team  Average
Attendance
 Ref   Series   Cumulative
record 
2003 June 20–22 Olympic Stadium Toronto 2–1 Montreal 12,782 [32] Tied
3-3
Tied 3-3-3
June 27–29 SkyDome Montreal 2–1 Toronto 31,571
2004 June 25–27 SkyDome Montreal 1–2 Toronto 22,091 [33] Tied
3-3
Tied 3-3-4
July 2–4 Hiram Bithorn Stadium
(San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Toronto 1–2 Montreal 8,443

The All-Canadian Series[edit]

The Blue Jays and Expos first played meaningful baseball in the 1997 season with the introduction of interleague play.[34] Originally one game sets, the two teams played home and home series for the first time in 1999. The series was a boost to the paltry attendance numbers at both the Olympic Stadium in Montreal and the SkyDome in Toronto, but failed to become a serious rivalry amongst the players or the fans.[1] Some people attribute this to lack of Canadian players on both teams, while others point to the general malaise of Canadians with Major League Baseball during the late 1990s and early 2000s.[1][35]

Major League Baseball put the final nail in the Series' coffin by playing the final set between the Jays and Expos in San Juan, Puerto Rico instead of Montreal. Major League Baseball's intention to boost attendance by playing in San Juan ended up resulting in lower attendance than the series had attracted in Montreal a year earlier.[36][37][38]

The All-Canadian Series ended after 2004 when the Expos were relocated and became known as the Washington Nationals.[39][40] The Blue Jays won the series 24 games to 19 games, and Toronto also won the most season series (3-2-2).[41]

List of games[edit]

Regular season games
 Season   Date   Location  Visiting team  Score  Home team  Attendance  Ref  Series
1997 June 30 Skydome Montreal 2 - 1 Toronto 37,430 [42] Montreal 2-1
July 1 Montreal 2 - 1 Toronto 50,436 [43]
July 2 Montreal 6 - 7(13) Toronto 34,176 [44]
1998 June 22 Skydome Montreal 2 - 14 Toronto 33,132 [45] Toronto 4-0
June 23 Montreal 2 - 3 Toronto 33,492 [46]
June 24 Olympic Stadium Toronto 7 - 6 Montreal 16,515 [47]
June 25 Toronto 1 - 0 Montreal 9,256 [48]
1999 June 4 Skydome Montreal 2 - 6 Toronto 24,147 [49] Toronto 4-2
June 5 Montreal 5 - 0 Toronto 28,112 [50]
June 6 Montreal 2 - 9 Toronto 24,392 [51]
July 9 Olympic Stadium Toronto 3 - 4 Montreal 10,091 [52]
July 10 Toronto 7 - 6 Montreal 15,005 [53]
July 11 Toronto 1 - 0 Montreal 15,201 [54]
2000 June 9 Skydome Montreal 3 - 13 Toronto 26,122 [55] Toronto 4-2
June 10 Montreal 11 - 2 Toronto 30,239 [56]
June 11 Montreal 3 - 8 Toronto 25,838 [57]
July 7 Olympic Stadium Toronto 5 - 10 Montreal 13,317 [58]
July 8 Toronto 6 - 3 Montreal 17,420 [59]
July 9 Toronto 13 - 3 Montreal 22,489 [60]
2001 June 15 Olympic Stadium Toronto 9 - 3 Montreal 8,692 [61] Tied 3-3
June 16 Toronto 2 - 7 Montreal 11,113 [62]
June 17 Toronto 1 - 4 Montreal 8,440 [63]
July 6 Skydome Montreal 10 - 7 Toronto 20,074 [64]
July 7 Montreal 8 - 9 (11) Toronto 23,976 [65]
July 8 Montreal 3 - 9 Toronto 31,012 [66]
2002 June 14 Olympic Stadium Toronto 2 - 8 Montreal 7,557 [67] Montreal 4-2
June 15 Toronto 3 - 9 Montreal 12,474 [68]
June 16 Toronto 5 - 6 Montreal 15,425 [69]
June 28 Skydome Montreal 2 - 1 Toronto 20,848 [70]
June 29 Montreal 4 - 5 (10) Toronto 24,344 [71]
June 30 Montreal 5 - 7 Toronto 24,965 [72]
2003 June 20 Olympic Stadium Toronto 8 - 4 Montreal 11,355 [73] Tied 3-3
June 21 Toronto 5 - 8 Montreal 11,483 [74]
June 22 Toronto 4 - 2 Montreal 15,508 [75]
June 27 Skydome Montreal 5 - 6 Toronto 24,024 [76]
June 28 Montreal 4 - 2 Toronto 33,334 [77]
June 29 Montreal 10 - 2 Toronto 37,354 [78]
2004 June 25 Skydome Montreal 1 - 3 Toronto 16,484 [79] Tied 3-3
June 26 Montreal 5 - 10 Toronto 23,875 [80]
June 27 Montreal 9 - 4 Toronto 25,915 [81]
July 2 Estadio Hiram Bithorn Toronto 0 - 2 Montreal 8,220 [82]
July 3 Toronto 2 - 0 Montreal 8,831 [83]
July 4 Toronto 4 - 6 Montreal 8,279 [84]
Totals Toronto: 24 wins, Montreal 19 wins

Notes[edit]

  • Canadian Bill Atkinson was the winning pitcher and scored the winning run for the Expos in the first-ever Pearson Cup game at the Olympic Stadium in 1978.[citation needed]
  • Pedro Martinez was the winning pitcher on June 30, 1997, in the first game of 'The All-Canadian Series', pitching 9 innings, striking out 10, walking one.[42]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ a b "Pearson Cup again up for grabs". CBC News. 2003-06-16. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  4. ^ "Royals' hopes high for Tartabull". Calgary Herald. 1987-01-07. 
  5. ^ "Exhibition game ends with Jays, Expos tied". Windsor Star. 
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External links[edit]