Big League Stew on the pain of 1994:
- As Jonah Keri reminds us, today marks the 15th anniversary of the day the players went on strike, an event that led to the first cancellation of the World Series since 1904 and killed dreams in Cleveland, the Bronx, the South Side and, most regrettably, Montreal.
I mean, I'm sure I must've missed the sport - I remember going to see Frank Thomas(notes) vs. Ken Griffey two weeks earlier and thinking, "OK, this is it, no more baseball for awhile after this" - but I don't think I was particularly crushed. Sports were morphing into really big business and the whole showdown seemed inevitable. My life went on, though I suppose it's possible I'm "misremembering" and have repressed those memories altogether.
Fifteen years later, what do you recall from baseball's darkest days?
Look, I understand that it was painful, then. Especially if you loved the Expos or the Indians. Particularly the Expos, because you might argue that the Strike killed the Expos, who had the best record in the National League and might -- given a successful October -- have ridden that momentum to a long-term future in Montreal.*
* Though I think that's far from a sure thing. The Boston Braves played in the 1948 World Series; four years later they were packing for the move to Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Braves played in the 1958 World Series, and seven years later they were packing for Atlanta.
In the summer of 1994, I worked for a company that derived a great deal of its business from baseball, so it was painful for me, too. A lot of us missed baseball, and a fair number of people lost their livelihoods that summer, for a couple of months at least. It was traumatic.
But, you know, life goes on. And that was a long time ago. It's a bit jarring to me when I'm talking to someone about baseball and the Strike comes up, as if it just happened. It was 15 years ago. There are millions of kids starting college this fall who literally do not remember a baseball strike.
Jonah Keri? You and your fellow Quebecois have earned it, my friend. You have every right to take the pain of 1994 to your graves, just as I'll never complete get over Chris Chambliss or Drew Pearson making me cry, all those years ago.
The rest of us, though? Get over it. The world is a different place now.