Ten years ago, on August 11th 1994, baseball entered its dog days with some of the game’s greatest stories unfolding and its most cherished records in jeopardy. Two expansion teams were added and three-division play began as baseball’s best feasted on a thinning talent pool. Canada was on the verge of seeing its third straight championship, Texas led its new division despite a record 10 games below .500 and the Yankees were staring down their first World Series appearance in 13 years, while half the league fought for the first ever “wild card” spots. Individually, Matt Williams and Ken Griffey Jr. appeared on pace to challenge Roger Maris’ homerun record, Chuck Knoblauch was chasing Earl Webb’s single season double total, Cal Ripken Jr. was ready to break Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games record, Tony Gwynn was flirting with hitting .400 and Frank Thomas may have been playing better than them all.

World Series
Date   Score
10/24/94 New York Yankees at Montreal Expos 2-1
10/25/94 New York Yankees at Montreal Expos 1-4
10/27/94 Montreal Expos at
New York Yankees
8-0
10/28/94 Montreal Expos at
New York Yankees
3-2
10/29/94 Montreal Expos at
New York Yankees
5-6
10/31/94 New York Yankees at Montreal Expos 4-7
Click the score for the full game boxscore

"The greatest team that never
was; Expos win in 6."

 
 

Then, on August 12th, the biggest story of all took it all away. A players’ strike ended the season and all was seemingly for naught. Since then, an Expos team that would go on to see 8 of its players become all-stars with other teams was dismantled, the 1995 Yankees and Rockies won the first two wild cards, Maris’ record was broken and re-broken and no one has hit .400 in 63 years or won the triple crown in 37 years.

 

 
American League Division Champs
Team Division
 New York East
 Chicago Central
 Texas West
 Cleveland Wildcard


National League Division Champs
Team Division
 Montreal East
 Houston Central
 Los Angeles West
 Cincinnati Wildcard
View Full Standings


Playoff Summary
Series Matchup Games
 Montreal def. Cincinnati 3-1
 Houston def. Los Angeles 3-2
 New York def. Cleveland 3-0
 Chicago def. Texas 3-1
 Montreal def. Houston 4-2
 New York def. Chicago 4-3
 

But, what if? What if there was no strike? Do the Expos even win the World Series? Do the Yankees start their dynasty a couple of years earlier? Are Matt Williams and Ken Griffey Jr. immortalized? Does Tony Gwynn bat .400? Is Webb’s crowning achievement erased from the records? And, do we even debate Frank Thomas’ Hall of Fame credentials? Whatifsports.com set out to end such debates as we played out the rest of the regular season and playoffs and found the following:


Does anyone break Roger Maris’ record of 61 homeruns in 1961? No, but Ken Griffey Jr. tied the record in his second to last at bat while Matt Williams fell 4 homers short of the record. Barry Bonds finished with 52 homeruns, which would have put his present career total over 700.


Does Chuck Knoblauch eventually breech Earl Webb’s 67 doubles in 1931? Not only did Knoblauch fall one double short of Webb's record number, Craig Biggio caught him in his quest by hitting 22 doubles to finish his season.


Does Tony Gwynn become the first MLB player to bat over .400 since Ted Williams in 1941? The Splendid Splinter's record remained intact with Tony Gwynn finishing the season with a .396 batting average despite batting .400 for the remainder of the season.

 
 

Does Frank Thomas win the Triple Crown?
Thomas finished the season batting .358 with 55 homeruns and 148 runs batted in. These numbers were the best in the league for batting average and RBIs, but only second best in HRs behind Griffey Jr.'s record-tying 61. Carl Yaztremski's 1967 year still remains the last Triple Crown.


Which teams make the playoffs?
New York, Chicago, and Texas all went on to win their divisions with Cleveland winning the wild card in the American League. While in the National League, Cincinnati swiped the wild card and Montreal, Houston, and Los Angeles won their divisions.


Who wins the 1994 World Series?
The greatest team that never was, the Expos win in 6 capturing their first World Series over the New York Yankees. The Expos reached the series by defeating Cincinnati in the divisional series and went on to top Houston for the pennant. The path for New York went through Cleveland and Chicago.

 

 
Home - SimLeagues - SimMatchup - Forums
 © 1999-2004 WhatIfSports.com, Inc. All rights reserved. [Terms of Use]  [Customer Support]  [Privacy Statement]