From the Fitted Hat Files, No. 6

Before they were the IronPigs of Lehigh Valley, they were the Lynx of the Ottawa River Valley, and they were the AAA affiliate of my beloved Expos: The Ottawa Lynx.

The Lynx were the 1995 International League champs and over their history, featured some big-name future MLB stars like Rondell White, Cliff Floyd, Jose Vidro, and one of the all-time best Canadian sluggers, Matt Stairs.

I never got to see the Lynx play in person, but as a ‘Spos fan, I’d always keep an eye on how they were doing and would read the stories they’d write in the Montreal…

From the Fitted Hat Files, No. 5

My first day working at the Alouettes in 2004 was a little, well, insane.

I was hired for a 3-week internship that ended up being an 8-year job. Before I snagged that internship, I had maybe the weirdest job in the world — I was the editor of an online news letter for the frozen fruit industry of all things.

When I was offered the internship, I didn’t hesitate despite having to leave my weird job and go away to training camp for 3 weeks.

One of my best early memories was that first night in the army barracks at…

From the Fitted Hat Files, №4

The Deeg. It’s right next to downtown, but isn’t quite there. It can feel like a suburb, but it’s not really that either.

It was “No Damn Good” when I was a kid. Today it’s more like “not really affordable” anymore, but you can find your spot if you’re willing to put in a little work.

I’ve lived in NDG for probably 34 of my 40-and-counting years on this planet and if I have my way, I’ll never leave. My wife is an NDG convert who grew up in the real ‘burbs. She’s hooked on our community now too.


Some thoughts on Mother’s Day. *I originally published this in 2017.

The names Kurt Cobain and Chris Cornell bring up mixed emotions. They remind me of immense talent, the ability to impact people’s lives through art, and of missed opportunities and wasted lives.

They also remind of my mother: Rosalyn Barnes.

Cobain was a myth to me — an electrician found him dead in his house the day after my 13th birthday. I was too young to have been part of the wave of grunge that had overtaken the cultural landscape. No, I was still listening to my older sister’s favourites like Billy Joel and rocking out to oldies radio.


From the Fitted Hat Files, №3

The Denver Bears were a long-time AAA affiliate of the Expos and had some major players like Tim Wallach, Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, and many more.

Notably, they were managed by the GOAT, Felipe Alou, and fielded some very successful teams while associated with Nos Amours.

Before moving to New Orleans in 1993, the Bears re-branded as the Zephyrs after the famous Zephyr passenger train. I’d like to pretend they were actually named after the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant Zephyrs, but that amazing episode of The Simpsons aired 8 years after the re-branding of the Bears.

The team re-branded again…

From the Fitted Hat Files, №2

Growing up, every spring, the Montreal Gazette would put out a full-page calendar of the upcoming season’s Expos games.

I would put it up on my wall and I’d write a W or an L on each game as the season went. Baseball is a game of rituals and that was one I enjoyed.

I do it with Habs games with my kids now, but it’s not the same because it’s not virtually every day like baseball.

Before the 2020 season, we adopted the Tampa Bay Rays as “our” team until whenever it is that baseball comes back to Montreal…

From the Fitted Hat Files, №1

I’m not a huge soccer guy, but its hard not to cheer for Bayern Munich with Canada’s #2 top soccer star, Alphonso Davies (Christine Sinclair is the undisputed GOAT) being a big part of their recent success.

I didn’t know this at the time when I bought the hat a couple of months ago, but a friend of mine who recently passed away was apparently a massive #BayernMunchen supporter, so it’s a nice tribute. …

Thank you Cleveland Baseball Team for taking these steps.

By banning headdresses and “Native American face paint”, the Cleveland baseball team has taken another important step towards the de-normalization of using indigenous peoples as mascots.

From No Native American face paint, headdresses allowed in Progressive Field for Indians games

“Cleveland (Baseball Team) fans will not be able to paint their faces in Native American fashion or wear headdresses to games at Progressive Field this season, according to a new team policy. The no-tolerance policy also involves abusive or inappropriate language or conduct deemed disorderly or disruptive, and that includes “inappropriate dress.” …

I would hope the passing of Hank Aaron and all the talk of how he was a racial trailblazer and hero would also cause people to reflect on how he, himself, played on a team that exploited and continues to exploit indigenous imagery.

The Atlanta logo at the time of his record-setting 715th home run was one of the most embarrassingly racist logos of all time.

I understand that the Atlanta team’s name was not conceived with racist intent, but just as things changed with integration in baseball in the 40s, the evolution of this subject has continued and it’s…

Today is the 73rd birthday of the main symbol of all Quebecers, the fleurdelisé.

For many Anglophone Quebecers, this adoption of this symbol as our own is not without its challenges. As far back as I can remember growing up, on “our side” of St. Lawrence, this was the symbol of the separatists, not us.

Our flag was the Canadian flag, our symbol the unifolié, and nothing else.

When we marched in the streets in 1995, it was with Canadian flags in our hands and red-and-white clothes on our backs, but it’s no longer ’95 and that’s not where the…

Noah Sidel

Being a dad is fun.

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