The Catch’s Minor League Time Machine, Part One: 1985 Jacksonville Expos

When I was a kid in the mid-1980s, I spent a lot of time watching, playing, reading about, and thinking about sports. I was truly obsessed. That obsession led me to taking the logical next step of writing letters to major and minor league teams to get pocket schedules, team information, and whatever else they happened to send back to me. We didn’t have the internet back then where I could get this information in approximately 30 seconds, like we do now. I had to put pencil to paper, buy a stamp, and drop an actual letter into the mailbox. (Thanks for assist USPS!) The cool stuff I received in return – which I absolutely treasure – has been sitting in waterproof boxes for the better part of 35 years. I’ve looked at it often, but I haven’t shared the stuff before now. Enjoy!

The first team in the Time Machine is the 1985 Jacksonville Expos, the direct predecessor of the current-day Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. It makes sense that the Jaxpos are first since I’m now residing in Bold City, and this site is a HUGE Jax Shrimp fan site. Even better, the Shrimp played last Saturday’s game (May 8, 2021) as the Jacksonville Expos and auctioned off the jerseys for charity. Good on you Jax Shrimp!

Let me start by saying that pretty much whatever a team sent me was received with a mixture of excitement, delight, and gratitude by my 13 year old self. That said, the more cool stuff a team sent, the happier I was having this cool stuff in my possession.

The Jacksonville Expos included quite a few things including this schedule:

If you peek inside the schedule, you can see that the Southern League of 1985 bears some resemblence to the Southern League Double-A South of 2021. Not much, but it’s there. And look at those ticket prices!

Speaking of tickets, the Jaxpos sent along two unused game tickets. I have always collected my game tickets (shocker, right?) so getting tickets of any kind was awesome. At the time, I was just curious to see the different logos of the teams. The Jaxpos logo was (still is!) absolutely gorgeous. Modifying the Montreal Expos logo into a ‘J’ was pure genius.

Jacksonville Expos v. Knoxville Blue Jays – June 28 & 29, 1985

The club also sent a roster as of July 30, 1985. Even though I absolutely know that everything was manually typed back in 1985, it is striking to see it after so many years of computer typography. Some future major leagers on this roster. Nelson Santovenia is the first name that really stands out.

Finally, the Jacksonville Expos sent along a bumper sticker since bumper stickers were all the rage in the mid-1980s. It’s beautiful. The Jaxpos radio affiliate back then – WAPE 690 – is also the radio affiliate of the Jumbo Shrimp, though it now goes by ESPN 690. The more things change, man.

That’s it for Minor League Time Machine, Part One. Please pardon some of the camera angles as it was tough to unfold the paper items and keep them flat after so many years tucked away. I’ll be back with future editions soon. I have a LOT of stuff to share. If you have any feedback, I’d love to hear it.

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