The Vermont Expos of Burlington, Vermont, played twelve seasons in the New York Penn-League. In that time, they served as a Class A-Short Season affiliate of Montréal, and for one season, the Washington Nationals.
The identity began following the 1993 season, when the Jamestown Expos relocated from upstate New York to the shores of Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont. The Montréal connection was somewhat serendipitous, as the two cities are only about 95 miles (or 150 kilomètres) apart from each other. Burlington’s Centennial Field had been vacated in 1988, when the Eastern League’s Vermont Mariners moved to Ohio. The Vermont Expos took to the turf in 1994, wearing uniforms that were very similar to their parent club’s, but with one notable difference. Their cap logo was a large red letter V being traversed by a hungry-looking cartoon version of Champ, the legendary cryptozoological lake monster of Lake Champlain.
Many young players tend to flame out at the lower levels of the minors, and as such, Vermont didn’t have the deepest bench of major league alums. Future big-leaguers who wore the Champ cap over those twelve years include Orlando Cabrera, Jamey Carroll, Milton Bradley, Ian Desmond, and Marco Estrada.
In 2003, the team created a secondary logo for batting practice/alternate caps that was a curvy purple letter V with a white spiky curl–possibly a reference to Champ’s spiny back. Upon closer examination, the logo is an inverted portion of Montréal’s classic cursive logo, and the white curl is an upside-down lowercase letter e for Expos.
This logo wouldn’t see much use, though, since the parent club in Montréal moved to Washington following the 2004 season. Interestingly, Vermont kept the nickname and brand for one season as a Nationals’ affiliate, making the vestigial COTOB the last torchbearer of the Expos’ identity. After that last season in 2005, the Vermont Expos rebranded to become the Vermont Lake Monsters, and a different version of Champ can be sighted in Burlington to this day.