In The Zone

In The Zone

In the Zone with Brandon Kravitz weekdays from 3-6pm on FM 96.9 The Game - Catch up with the best segments, interviews, and features from that day’s show.


What If the Baseball Season Didn't Stop Back in 1994?

The MLB strike of 1994 will forever live in baseball infamy, but what's so interesting about the cease in play that year is just how many remarkable things were going on in the league.

I take a look into it here.

So MLB is in the midst of this civil strife over a new CBA, yadda yadda, bunch of boring stuff. But if they don’t figure things out, they could end up in familiar territory…

I don’t know how much you remember from 1994, but I was 9…peak MLB fandom, all I cared about. Baseball over everything. Now, I don’t remember the strike clear as day, but I’m sure I was devastated. Started thinking about this today and all of the what ifs that come with a lost season…and the details behind when they stopped and what happened as a trickle effect is pretty wild…

It abruptly ended Michael Jordan's baseball career.

It killed the Montreal Expos franchise.

It stopped Tony Gwynn's march towards baseball immortality.

1994- baseball came to a screeching halt and didn't return for 232 days. The strike canceled the rest of the 1994 season, and for the first time since 1904, even the World Series.

It forever changed the course of history.

"I never felt the same way about baseball again after that,'' Dave Stewart, a four-time 20-game winner and then pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays, tells USA TODAY Sports. "Even today, after all of my years in baseball, the passion I have for the game has never been the same. All because of that strike.

Goose Gossage spoke about it once and said this great line-

"You don't leave the game. The game leaves you.''

"I never did announce my retirement. Even today, 20 years later, I still haven't announced my retirement.

Red Sox slugger- Dave Henderson said- "They should never, ever let a baseball player have the summer off,'' …."As a baseball player, (1994) was my first summer off. Ever. And I liked it.

"Once I got introduced to the thing they call Labor Day, and had a family barbecue and everything, I said, 'Hell with it, I'm not going back.'

Here’s what we missed/things that were changed:

·     Tony Gwynn ended the season with a .394 BA

·     Matt Williams of the Giants and Ken Griffey were on pace to get really close to Roger Maris’ record of 61 (43 and 40 HR’s)

oJeff Bagwell had 39, Frank Thomas 38 and Barry Bonds 37.

·     Greg Maddux had a 1.56 ERA in 202 innings pitched in 1994. The lowest ERA since Bob Gibson's 1.12 mark in 1968 when a pitcher threw at least 200 innings was Dwight Gooden's 1.53 in 1985. Second is Maddux. He could well have topped Gooden. He was on fire, having posted a 0.93 ERA in his final eight starts and closing with 18 straight scoreless innings.

oMaddux was 19-2 and Randy Johnson was 18-2 at the time

·EXPOS! 74 wins at the time, best in baseball - Their outfield consisted of Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom, and Moises Alou. They had Pedro Martinez pitching and Cliff Floyd @ 1st.

·     Then there’s the MJ part…

oJordan refused to cross the picket line and play with the replacement players. He sat out and then announced in March he was returning to the NBA, winning three more titles with the Bulls, but giving up his dream of playing in the major leagues.

o"I think he would have definitely given it one more year if not for the strike,'' Reinsdorf told USA TODAY Sports. "When the strike hit and we decided to go with replacement players, Michael could not be part of that.''

Reference credit:





Photo: Getty Images

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