At the very least, the "steroid era" overshadowed the anniversary of a dark day in the history of baseball.
On Aug. 12, 1994, Major League Baseball players went on strike. Work stoppages aren’t foreign to major pro sports, but the 1994 one goes down in history as resulting in the first canceled World Series in 90 years.
The strike left all sorts of marks across the game:
- Attendance drops were significant in 1995 as opposed to before the strike. It took awhile for fans to return to the game.
- The strike very well could have helped the steroids era become what it became. Yeah, people were juicing before the strike. But baseball, trying to regain its popularity when the game returned early in 1995, may have been a little distracted. The sport definitely benefitted from the steroids era at that time. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were often credited with saving the game by going on a run at Roger Maris‘ single-season homer record in 1998. And well, we know what’s been said about those two.
- The demise of the Montreal Expos, along with contraction discussions. The Expos were the best team in baseball at the time of the strike, searching for just their second postseason berth in franchise history. The Minnesota Twins were the other team believed to be contracted. Who knows? If there’s no strike, maybe the Expos win the World Series, parlay that into a new stadium, and the contraction topic doesn’t come up. Or at the very least, it doesn’t focus on them.
I don’t think I’ll ever get over the cancellation of the 1994 World Series. That series needed to happen. You can’t up and cancel your showcase event. Both sides should have resolved the issue before it ever came to that.
Lessons were definitely learned, and I doubt we’ll see the World Series canceled again in my lifetime because of it.