With players on strike since mid-August, Major League Baseball on September 14, 1995, cancels its playoffs and World Series. This marks the first time since 1904 that a season will end without the crowning a champion. It also prematurely ends one of the sport’s most exciting seasons in recent memory.
There were numerous reasons for the 1994 MLB strike, which lasted until April 2, 1995, but the overwhelming themes were money and mistrust. MLB owners wanted a cap on players’ salaries and the implementation of local broadcast revenue sharing. The MLB Players Association refused.
The strike ended what should have been an exciting last few months of the season. The Montreal Expos (74-40) and New York Yankees (70-43) appeared to be on a collision course for the World Series. San Francisco Giants slugger Matt Williams’ (43 home runs) and Seattle Mariners star Ken Griffey Jr. (40 HRs) had chances to break Roger Maris’ then-season record for home runs (61, set in 1961). San Diego Padres star Tony Gwynn, who had a .394 batting average, missed a chance to become the first player since Ted Williams in 1941 to bat .400 or higher.
Years afterward, the impact of the 1994 strike and cancelled World Series cut deeply with many former players. In 2014, former Oakland A’s star pitcher Dave Stewart told USA TODAY that he “never felt the same way about baseball again.”
Noted Hall of Fame relief pitcher Rich “Goose” Gossage in an interview with USA Today: “Most of these guys in the big leagues today, they don’t have any freakin’ clue on how they’re being paid all of this money. Not one clue. They have no idea the blood, sweat and tears we went through.”