MLB’s Last Work Stoppage In 1994-95 Proved Costly

    • MLB canceled games due to a labor dispute for the first time in 27 years.
    • That stoppage sacrificed a World Series and affected future attendance.

On Tuesday, the MLBPA unanimously agreed to reject the league’s “final best offer.” Now, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced the cancellation of the first week of the season.

It’s the first time since 1994-95 that the league has canceled games due to a labor dispute.

Lost player paychecks and owner revenue are foregone conclusions. The question now is if 2022’s work stoppage will have as devastating an effect on baseball as the one 27 years ago.

  • The ‘94 World Series was canceled by the players’ strike — the first and only time a championship had been missed since 1905.
  • The Montreal Expos, who had the best record in the league at the time of the strike, might’ve won the World Series.
  • Following the strike, the Expos had to slash payroll — the first domino to fall in a slide that culminated in a move to Washington, D.C. a decade later.
  • Attendance plummeted in the 1995 season to 25,048 fans per game, down from 31,240. The league would not reach pre-1995 numbers again until 2006.

MLB is well aware of its waning popularity — the implementations of the pitch clock and limited mound visits are indications that the league acknowledges a lack of fan engagement.

The league has already lost fans with the lockout — a lost season would be baseball’s biggest blow in decades.