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Saturday, December 7, 2019

Derek Aucoin became first Montrealer to play for Expos

Derek Aucoin 1990 Jamestown Expos card

Derek Aucoin drew praise from Expos manager Felipe Alou for his early start in spring 1996, according to The Palm Beach Post.

"He's some kind of nasty," Alou told The Post. "I can't wait for the games because of that one guy to see what the reaction is from major-league hitters."

Aucoin eventually made his major league debut with Montreal that May. And it came with some fanfare. He was a Montreal native. His promotion to the top club made him the first - and eventually only - homegrown Expo.

His stay in the majors, however, was brief. He played two games and never got back.

Aucoin's career began in 1989, signed by the Expos as an undrafted free agent out of Douglas College in British Columbia. He played his high school ball at Terrebonne, Que., just outside Montreal.

Growing up outside Montreal, Aucoin was a life-long Expos fan. And he got his focus in baseball young, he told The Upper West Side Spirit years later.

"When I was 10, I got to meet Andre Dawson," Aucoin told The Spirit. "That was what changed my life."

Aucoin started with the Expos in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He went 2-1 over seven outings, with a 2.66 ERA.

He moved to short-season Jamestown for 1990, than single-A Sumter for 1991. He went 3-6 at Sumter, with a 4.28 ERA, mostly in relief.

Aucoin played 1993 at high-A West Palm Beach. He then made AA Harrisburg for most of 1994 and all of 1995. He started 1996 at AAA Ottawa. Then, in May, he got called up to Montreal.

Aucoin debuted May 21 and went two-thirds of an inning at San Francisco. He gave up one earned on two hits. He then returned four days later, at home against the Dodgers. He went two innings, gave up one hit and no runs.

Those two outings proved the extent of Aucoin's major league career.

Aucoin played out 1996 at AAA Ottawa, then 1997 between Ottawa and West Palm Beach. He then saw one final season, 28 games across four levels, with the Mets in 1998 to end his career.

Aucoin went on to become an entrepreneur, featured by The New York Times in 2000. He also became an analyst for the French-language network TVA.

In August 2019, he announced he was battling with a brain tumor. Aucoin also issued a statement then, according to The Toronto Star: "I will fight to the end to win this game and I will devote all my energies."
Derek Aucoin 1990 Jamestown Expos card

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,244
Made the Majors:1,169-36.0%-X
Never Made Majors:2,075-64.0%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 484
10+ Seasons in the Minors:284

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