The 1994 MLB Strike Hurt Everyone; Especially The Montreal Expos

Anthony EmersonAnalyst ISeptember 13, 2009


The 1994 MLB Players Association strike hurt everyone.

Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres was on pace to hit .400, and would've been the first player to do so since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941.

Matt Williams of the San Francisco Giants was on pace to break Roger Maris's record of 61 home runs in a single season.

And the Montreal Expos were the best team in baseball.

No, I'm not lying to you.

The Expos were led by a good group of players: Larry Walker, Moises Alou, Pedro Martinez, John Wetteland, and Wil Cordero.

At the time the baseball season was put on hold, the Expos had the best record at 70-40, and led the NL East by six games.

Then the strike went on and forced MLB commissioner Bud Selig to cancel the playoffs and the World Series.

If the 1994 season had continued, the Expos likely would've made it to the playoffs for the first time since 1981. They had a good enough team in 1994 to go all the way too.

Alou and Walker batting 3-4 in their prime. John Wetteland closing games for Pedro Martinez. Even better than Martinez that year was Ken Hill, who went 16-5 with a 3.32 ERA and could've won the NL Cy Young Award. Hill also had a WHIP of 1.22 and an opponents batting average of .248. His opponents batting average was not as good as his first two years with he Expos (.238 and .240 respectively), but still an admirable one.

The Expos were hitting on all cylinders. They had so many good players in their prime. Here's a run down of stats for the Expos four best offensive players from 1994:

Larry Walker: .322 average, 19 home runs, 86 RBI, OBP of .394 and a slugging percentage of .587 for an OPS of .981.

Moises Alou: .339 average, 22 home runs, 78 RBI, OBP of .397 and a slugging percentage of .592 for an OPS of .989.

Wil Cordero: .294 average, 15 home runs, 63 RBI, .363 OBP and a slugging percentage of .489 for an OPS of .853.

Marquis Grissom: .288 average, 11 home runs, 45 RBI, .344 OBP and a slugging percentage of .427 for an OPS of .771.

Because the 1994 season ended on August 11, those stats are downgraded from what they potentialy could've been if the Expos had played a full season. Felipe Alou (the Expos manager that season) really had everything clicking in '94.

If the 1994 strike hadn't happened, and the Montreal Expos went on to win the World Series (or even just had some success in the playoffs), they likely would've stayed in Montreal, instead of moving to Washington, DC after 2004. The 'Spos likely would've gotten a new, state-of-the-art stadium to replace the rapidly aging Olympic Stadium.

Now, if it wasn't for stupid greedy players and stupid greedy owners, one of baseball's greatest seasons wouldn't have been erased from memory.

1994 World Series: Montreal Expos OVER the New York Yankees.


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