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Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos

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4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  1,090 Ratings  ·  165 Reviews
The definitive history of the Montreal Expos by the definitive Expos fan, the New York Times bestselling sportswriter and Grantland columnist Jonah Keri.
2014 is the 20th anniversary of the strike that killed baseball in Montreal, and the 10th anniversary of the team's move to Washington, DC. But the memories aren't dead--not by a long shot. The Expos pinwheel cap is still
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Hardcover, 408 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Random House Canada (first published March 11th 2014)
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John Lee I think you'll enjoy this book if you fit either of the following criteria:
You were an Expos fan
OR
You are interested in baseball history AND you are…more
I think you'll enjoy this book if you fit either of the following criteria:
You were an Expos fan
OR
You are interested in baseball history AND you are interested in hearing the memories of a baseball fan.

If you were (are) an Expos fan, you'll find a lot of things to love about this book. The passion with which Jonah Keri writes about his favorite team is infectious, and I'm sure you'll have a great time reliving the many memories in the history of the franchise.

But more to the point, even if you don't know anything about the Expos, if you love baseball history and hearing people reminisce about it, I think you'll enjoy this book as well. However, if you're only interested in one of those things, I'm not sure that you'll enjoy it as much. Keri really blends the two parts together, often jumping from telling the history of the Expos to a specific memory he experienced and back, and while his writing is great, you may not be interested in one or the other, and this book may frustrate you. However, even if you only have a passing interest in those two things, definitely check it out!

As a footnote, another group of people that may enjoy this book are others who have lost their sports teams (Browns fans, Sonics fans) or who are fans of teams which have a very tenuous future in their current location (the A's, the Rays). The business side of the Expos, while not explored very fully, was of great interest to me as an A's fan hoping ownership doesn't do these same things, and it was nice to commiserate with someone whose team was taken away from them.(less)
Lena So far (page 345) I would say it is innovative strategic risk-taking. The visionaries made things happen in spite of financial constraints. Strategic…moreSo far (page 345) I would say it is innovative strategic risk-taking. The visionaries made things happen in spite of financial constraints. Strategic lineups gave the club momentum. And perceived underdogs were consistently given a chance to shine.

Of course I am at the chapter concerning Loria... So maybe there may be other baseball business insights coming up in the book.(less)

Community Reviews

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John Lee
Aug 22, 2014 John Lee rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Baseball fans
Baseball is my favorite sport, and watching it is one of my favorite hobbies. In college, I chose to align myself with the Oakland A's, for their underdog spirit and because everyone I knew liked the Giants. Ever the contrarian, I staked my claim and became a huge A's fan, keeping up with all of their games, following at least four A's beat writers on Twitter, reading game stories, reading sabermetric blogs, and so on. Not all of this was about the A's, of course, and I developed a love of the s ...more
Gavin
May 18, 2014 Gavin rated it it was amazing
***LEGAL TYPE STUFF: I won this book through Goodreads First Reads***

That being said, I was already very interested in getting a copy of this. I've been reading Jonah Keri's work since I first started following Grantland early on. He's also happy enough to engage in conversations on Twitter (with me at least, including such topics as: Stan Musial being under-rated and what Shortstop would be a better pick for my fantasy baseball team). Needless to say, I really enjoy his writing, and I enjoy him
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Davy
May 30, 2014 Davy rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball
Wow. One thing I was thinking while I was getting through the entire history of the Expos was that although Jonah Keri painted the picture of how the earlier years (70's specifically), it was hard for me to identify with some of the players that I didn't know in MY youth. While we moved into the 80's and the rise of Hawk, Rock, and The Kid, I was really getting into the team, and was so excited to read through their playoff run. Jonah really made me want to go back and watch video of this team, ...more
Dustin
Jun 19, 2014 Dustin rated it really liked it
As a converted Nationals fan, I felt it was my duty to learn where my team comes from. And having spent a long weekend in Montreal, it quickly became one of my favorite places I have visited. Finally, being a devotee of Grantland and a fan of Keri's work for that site, I knew I had to read this book. And I am certainly glad I did. What a fun team. Such an interesting history. While it is certainly sad that they had to lose the team the way that they did, I do enjoy the team that DC got out of ...more
Sean McKenna
May 13, 2014 Sean McKenna rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Jonah Keri beautifully weaves two distinct perspectives to tell the story of the Expos.

First and foremost is the experience of following the team on the field: players coming and going, managers hired and fired, pennant races building and then (sadly) fading away. It was really interesting to read the stories of all the great players that came before my time, whose names I knew but whose stories I did not. It was even interesting to see how the teams I do remember cheering for develo
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Lance
Mar 13, 2016 Lance rated it it was amazing
The Montreal Expos provided many interesting stories during their 36 years of existence, both on and off the field. Sportswriter Jonah Keri, who was also a fan of the team, covers their history in this fun-to-read account of the franchise.

Starting with the scramble to obtain players and a suitable stadium for the inaugural 1969 season, Keri captures the adventures and misadventures of the franchise with humor, knowledge and the viewpoint that a devoted fan provides, which was surprisingly objec
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Curtis Edmonds
Mar 30, 2014 Curtis Edmonds rated it really liked it
Keri has three stories to tell in this volume, and only two of them are interesting. The first is the story of the characters and rogues who made up the roster of the Montreal Expos in their glory days. The archetypal story is the one about Tim Raines sliding headfirst into second because he had a vial of cocaine in his hip pocket that he didn't want to break. There should have been a lot more stories like this, and most of the stories that there are get shoved into sidebars, but there were a ...more
Jeff Raymond
Dec 24, 2014 Jeff Raymond rated it really liked it
As a Red Sox fan, the joys of 2004 are, in many ways, inextricable from the plight of the Expos. We could say that solely from the acquisition of Pedro Martinez alone, but so much of how that team was built is based around the Montreal Expos, and Jonah Keri, who is quickly becoming a master of writing about these little teams that could, does an admirable job of mixing history with personal experience in his team-ography of the Expos from start to finish.

For statheads, there's a lot of fun looks
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Brent
"Up, Up and Away" is the latest entry in a series of books which I’ve been reading based on the shared former employer of their authors. For a few years, I’d check the website Grantland every day on my lunch break and basically click on anything non-Football related under the (usually correct) assumption that whatever the article was about I’d either learn something, or be kept entertained for its duration. Around this same time, I discovered Twitter which further allowed me to follow authors ...more
Chris Calogero
Nov 15, 2016 Chris Calogero rated it really liked it
Loved this book! Jonah Keri has a particular writing style that i think sometimes comes off a little distant, but well-informed. The fact that he grew up as a crazy Expos fan infuses this book with love, fondness, nostalgia, and warmth. Once you get through the first 50 or so pages of the books flies! Once I hit an era that contained players I remembered playing I couldn't get enough. Highly recommend if you are a baseball fan.
Kevin Gallan
Nov 21, 2016 Kevin Gallan rated it it was amazing
a very good read
Shay Caroline
Nov 25, 2016 Shay Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
Excellent history of Les Expos from a writer who clearly loved them.
Gord Jones
Aug 19, 2014 Gord Jones rated it it was amazing
I am a baseball fan and was a fan of the Montreal Expos right from their start, way back in 1969, so when I saw new book on the entire history of the Expos, Up, Up, & Away, I had to give it a read.

There has never been a major English-language book on the entire franchise history. There also hasn't been a sportswriter as uniquely qualified to tell the whole story, and to make it appeal to baseball fans across Canada AND south of the border.

Jonah Keri writes the chief baseball column for Gran
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Jay Hinman
Jul 08, 2014 Jay Hinman rated it liked it
If you’re like me you tend to reward yourself for tackling & completing a more challenging book with the succor of the “easy read”: a novella, a book about music, or perhaps even a nyuk nyuk inside-baseball (literally) history of the Montreal Expos. Not exactly sure what I was thinking with this one. I frequently read and enjoy Jonah Keri's baseball writing on the Grantland website, so out of a sense of loyalty and curiosity, and because I’d come through the cathartic crucible of just having ...more
Ryan
Jul 29, 2015 Ryan rated it really liked it
This book gets an extra half star from me because I loved the Montreal Expos as a kid.

This book is a comprehensive history of the MLB team in Montreal that was founded in 1969 and lasted until 2004 when it moved to Washington and became the Washington Nationals. I've come to the conclusion after finishing it that, ultimately, I prefer sports books that focus on a much narrower topic (a couple of players, one famous game, one season, etc.) and use that narrow topic as a frame to discuss the large
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Tom
Jun 23, 2014 Tom rated it really liked it
Since some point in 2012-ish, every Jonah Keri column on Grantland.com has included a note at the bottom that Mr. Keri will soon be publishing a new book. A definitive history of the Montreal Expos. If a book can be awaited with baited breath, then I have been awaiting this magnificent book with baited breath for about two years.

That is to say that I held the same lofty expectations for "Up, Up, and Away" that Expos fans held for the Expos teams of the early 1980s.

And the book, unlike the star
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Longfellow
Aug 11, 2015 Longfellow rated it liked it

This concludes my binge on recently published baseball books, the “trilogy” of three different MLB organizations The Extra 2% (Tampa Bay Rays), Bit Data Baseball (Pittsburgh Pirates), and now Up, Up, and Away (Montreal Expos); the first two focused on organizational turn-arounds and this third is a complete organizational history from life-long Expos fan and veteran sportswriter, Jonah Keri.

Like other books in this genre, the mini-narratives inside the larger narrative interest me most. In this
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Andrew
Jun 19, 2014 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Up, Up and Away is a must read for any sports fan. It's a fast paced read (finished it in 3 days) compete with colorful anecdotes and sidebars, entertaining, enlightening, heartwarming (and tear jerking, at least for me, another old Expo fan) stories, told through the honest and (mostly) objective eyes of a seasoned sportswriter. It encapsulates perfectly the history of the Montreal Expos with a unique and forthright perspective. I learned more than I ever thought I would. Keri's storytelling ...more
Lena
Sep 01, 2014 Lena rated it really liked it

Up, Up & Away by Jonah Keri
ISBN :: 978-0-307-36135-6

I received this book courtesy of a Goodreads First Reads giveaway (listed by Random House of Canada) in exchange for an unbiased review.

RE: Eternal Lover of the Underdog
(aka my lover affair with The Expos)


Dear Mr. Keri (and co.),

You are my favourite(s))!

It is true that protocol dictates that book reviews be solely about the content of the book and judgements about the author not be included. But here is the thing... You are so obviously
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Arjun
Mar 31, 2014 Arjun rated it really liked it
The nostalgia that exists, that permeates the lives of baseball fans and Montrealers in particular, drips off this book like water from a slate roof during a monsoon. A lot of nostalgia. In Montreal this weekend, the first major league baseball of any sort (albeit of the pre-season variety) and almost 100,000 tickets sold for games between teams that Montrealers are indifferent to at best. For me, at least, reading this book when I did hit me in a lot of ways. Having said that, for anyone who is ...more
David Molnar
Jul 01, 2014 David Molnar rated it it was amazing
I have been reading Jonah Keri's stuff for a long time, dating back to his work with Baseball Prospectus. I knew I had to get this when I saw a clip on the youtube from some talk show of Keri doing a home run call in French - that unabashed enthusiasm is reflected in the pages, and Keri is unafraid to write about his own fandom, artfully weaving in stories about epic road trips (but only the epic ones!). The Expos' story is at once horrifying (Jarry Park, Jeffrey Loria, 1994, ...) and exhilarati ...more
John Kerry
The one thing about defunct baseball (or any sport for that matter) teams is that someone can write the complete history of the team and have a conclusion to the story Such is the case with the Montreal Expos. This was a good and readable book. Although it is fairly substantial (roughly 400 pages) it was by no means difficult to read. In fact I was surprised at how fast I was getting through it. If you are like me you are going to learn a lot you didn't know about before reading this book, ...more
Erik
Feb 22, 2015 Erik rated it liked it
I was a Montreal Expos fan, off and on, from the mid 70s until their departure for Washington, D.C. following the 2004 season. I bought this book when it came out a year ago but just got around to reading it now. I found the book both enjoyable, at least in the first half, and well written. The author is good at building exciting narratives in recounting the pennant races that the Expos were involved in during their history particularly in the 1979, 1980 and 1981 seasons. And of course in the ...more
Teena in Toronto
Aug 29, 2014 Teena in Toronto rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian
I enjoy baseball and going to Toronto Blue Jays games. Gord read this book earlier this month and though I don't know much about the Montreal Expos, he said I'd probably find it interesting because it talks about what happened behind the scenes in baseball.

I found that it was indeed an interesting read. It didn't sound like the Expos had much of a chance ... there was fighting and power struggles among the owners, lack of cashflow, a crappy stadium to play in, a crazy strategy to sell their bett
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Red Heaven
Feb 06, 2016 Red Heaven rated it really liked it
This is a very good book with some minor flaws. It's 95% history and 5% memoir, and the author's passionate feelings about the fate of the team intrude in a clunking manner. Either he should have gone the Fever Pitch route and taken more of a personal perspective, so that those intrusions don't seem out of place, or left his feelings out of it and been the objective observer.

His writing style is engaging despite some annoying instances of starting to reference something and then stopping cold wi
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Andrew
Apr 15, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it
Keri was super passionate about the Expos. That passionate is infectious in this book.

This story is a tragedy, laced with comedy. I wanted to learn more about these characters. The GM slept with the owner's wife. Really? That nugget deserved more than a passing sentence. Dave Van Horne, the great, beleaguered play-by-play man of the Expos called games heard only on the Internet in 2000. I wanted more of Van Horne. He may be worthy of his own book.

Also Keri had too much mixed in here: oral histo
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Jamie
Nov 14, 2015 Jamie rated it really liked it
I think baseball fans of any stripe would enjoy this book. It offers a look into the inner workings of professional baseball in the latter half of the twentieth century. In doing so it provides a sometimes shocking glimpse into pro sports before money changed the game forever. The story of how the Expos came to be, for example, seems outright ludicrous in light of modern day pro sports expansions.

For Expos fans, this book is a both a fantastic historical reference and a heartbreaking read. The g
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Trevor
Nov 18, 2014 Trevor rated it really liked it
This book told a story that I knew, didn't know or forgot. It was a delightful trip down memory lane, back to My Golden Age of baseball growing up in Montreal.

It reminded me when I was very young and listened to games on the little radio I used to put under my pillow as I fell asleep…And going to my first game at the Big O with my dad, against the Pirates…And skipping school in 1984 to go to Opening Day (only to watch all the free calendars they handed out get turned into paper airplanes by the
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Paige
Nov 11, 2015 Paige rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a somewhat bizarre book to read as a fan of the Washington Nationals. Because the slightly gutted team playing over their heads in a ballpark that was threatening to fall apart became the 2005 Nats I fell in love with. Even some of the weird stuff sound familiar, the songs (40000 Nats fans gleefully singing take on me) to the heartbreaking playoff losses and the carnival atmosphere walking into the stadium. It was weird reading this when I was part of the DC crowd in the early 2000s ...more
Lyle Appleyard
Mar 04, 2015 Lyle Appleyard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway Contest. I was really impressed that I got a hard cover copy of the book. I always find it classy when they do that.

Although I was never the biggest fan of baseball when I was growing up, I was aware of the Montreal Expos. To me, they were always there. I do not remember a time when they weren't. They were, for a time, the only professional baseball team in Canada. Therefore I was a fan.

I really enjoyed this book. As I was reading the
...more
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