Local rapper and ExposNation ambassador Annakin Slayd, celebrated the induction of Montreal Expos’ legend Tim Raines into the Hall of Fame over the weekend, the best way he knows how — with a musical tribute.
Tip That Cap is an ode to Raines, who in his 10th and final year of eligibility, was finally inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
It’s an honour many felt was long overdue.
“It was such a thrill to see him finally get inducted,” Slayd, who made the trip to Cooperstown, N.Y., for the ceremony Sunday, said.
“He’s the greatest guy, one of the most exciting players.”
Slayd wasn’t the only fan to make the journey.
“To see all the Expos fans just sprawled all over the grass at Cooperstown, all the red, white and blue colours — it was an ExposNation dream,” Slayd said.
While Raines joined former teammates Gary Carter and Andre Dawson in the Hall of Fame, Slayd said Raines was the quintessential Expos player.
“He sort of spans over all of Expos’ history,” he said, “From Rusty Staub in ’79 to Vladamir Guerrero in the year 2001.”
And unlike Dawson or Carter, Slayd explained there was never a doubt which cap he was going to wear going into Cooperstown.
“It was 100 per cent Expos.”
Slayd said he got the idea for Tip That Cap, building on the success of his Canadiens’ tribute, Rock the Sweater.
“In that video, I have celebrities and players kissing the logo, kissing the Canadiens’ crest,” he said, explaining that the baseball equivalent is tipping your cap, “like you would at the All-Star Game or opening day when you come out and you salute the crowd.”
His tribute to Raines, also known as “Rock” from his football days, took off from there.
“I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great if I went around and got all these ex-teammates of Rock and all of the people who have supported the movement to get the team back to just sort of do that little tip to the camera and incorporate it into the song?'”
WATCH BELOW: Tip That Cap
Of course, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, a longtime supporter of bringing the team home can be seen tipping his cap, as well as none other than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“I’m not just going to humble-brag or nothing, but that’s the second time he’s been in one of my videos,” Slayd said of Trudeau. “How many rappers can say that?”
But all joking aside, Slayd said he did catch some flak for featuring the PM, with people wondering what he had to do with baseball.
“His family is really ingrained in Canadian baseball,” Slayd said. “His father was a big fan of the Expos and a lot of people don’t know this, his grandfather was an owner of the Montreal Royals.”
For ExposNation, and Slayd alike, it’s always been about celebrating the team and bringing baseball back to Montreal.
While the recent induction may have re-ignited hope, ultimately what happens next is not up to fans.
“Now it’s just about what happens with Major League’s Baseball and what are they going to do to make it happen,” he said. “We’re definitely the number one contender.”