Twenty Years Ago Baseball Struck Out

Sept 14, 1994: MLB Cancels Remainder of Baseball Season

Twenty years ago today, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced the cancellation of the remainder of the baseball season due to a player’s strike.  For the first time in 92 years there would be no World Series.  The cancellation was the end of baseball as America’s pastime, as the sport had already been surpassed by football and it would take a decade for attendance to return to 1994 levels.

The cancellation left many what ifs, including:

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  • Would Roger Maris’ Record Have Been Broken?

The Giants’ Matt Williams was having the best year of his career and had 43 home runs and was on pace to hit 62 home runs at the time of the strike, with Ken Griffey, Jr. close behind at 40.

  • Would The .400 Batting Average Mark Been Broken?

The late great Padre Great Tony Gwynn was having his best year ever and batting .394 at the time of the strike.

  • Would The World Series Trophy Stay in Canada?

At the time of the strike the Montreal Expos had the best record in baseball (74-40) and were six games ahead of the Atlanta Braves (who would have qualified for the first Wild Card ever).  Cincinnati and Houston were a half-game apart in the Central Division, while the Dodgers were up 3.5 over the Giants in the  West.

The New York Yankees had the best record in the American League, while the White Sox and the A’s had small leads in open divisions.

The Toronto Blue Jays, who had won the last two World Series, were out of contention but the Montreal Expos seemed ready to defend Canada’s claim on the trophy.  A simulation of the remainder of the season had the Expos winning the World Series in six games over the New York Yankees; although another simulation had the White Sox beating the Dodgers.

The Expos never recovered as ownership broke up the talented squad and the team was taken over by MLB.  A decade later the franchise was moved to Washington.


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