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Flashback Friday: The Sold Out Blue Jays/Expos Canada Day Game

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There’s just something about baseball and national holidays that just go great together. Sure, Memorial Day and Fourth of July games are great, but what could be better than watching both of Canada’s teams play on the anniversary of the birth of this great nation?

For this week’s Flashback Friday, we take a look back to the sold out Canada Day game on July 1st 1997 between the Montreal Expos and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Both of Canada’s baseball teams played to a sold out crowd of 50,436 fans at the Skydome that year. That was by far the single largest game for attendance at the Skydome that year, eclipsing the next closest game by over 6,000 fans on July 5th.



On Canada’s birthday, it looked to be a marquee pitching matchup between Roger Clemens and Jeff Juden. Even though Clemens would go on to win the Cy Young that year, Jeff Juden bested Clemens that day.

Juden took a page right out of the book of Clemens and struck out 14 Blue Jays through 8.1 innings of work that day. Jeff Juden struck out every Blue Jay batter in the lineup at least once. In fact, Juden only gave up two hits the entire game; one being a solo home run by Shawn Green.

It wouldn’t have been Canada Day without an appearance by a canuck as Paul Quantrill was the sole Canadian player on either roster to take the field that game. Quantrill recorded the final two outs for the Blue Jays in the top of the 9th.

Ultimately, an RBI double by David Segui and a solo home run from Rondell White were enough for the Montreal Expos to hold off the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 at the Skydome on Canada Day 1997.

Some might remember that Canada Day game for the uniforms worn by the Blue Jays. Toronto rolled out the infamous red vest jerseys with the blue undershirts for Canada Day. Not quite the most flattering ensemble, but I’ll give them credit for trying something different for Canada Day.

Image courtesy of Uni Watch

For those interested, the jersey Rogers Clemens wore for the Canada Day game was autographed and up for auction back in 2006, but there’s no indication how much it went for.

It may be a little early, but Happy Canada Day everyone!

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Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the ALDS to his son for the next 20 years.

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5 Comments

  1. The BlueJaynator

    June 29, 2012 - 3:10 pm

    We need to see some photos of the crowd that day! Got to track them down…

  2. Anonymous

    June 29, 2012 - 3:27 pm

    Did the Expos wear special unis?

  3. Anonymous

    July 1, 2012 - 2:31 pm

    Please bring back the spo's!

  4. Maddie Rockwell

    February 25, 2013 - 9:46 pm

    Holiday games are always a fun spectacle to watch. Maybe we can forgive the bad choice for a uniform, as long as they bring on the goods against each other.

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