Retro Year in Sports: 1995

Strike Eight

A lot of people remember the Baseball Strike of 1994 but some may not realize that it went well into our retrospective year. Technically speaking this was baseball's eighth strike in 22 years but only the third that had actually led to cancelled ballgames. The stoppage concluded on April 2 (which was set to be opening day eve) after the specter of replacement players threw the league into a damned frenzy while simultaneously threatening the on-field story of the year that was Cal Ripken's consecutive games streak. The Judge most responsible for keeping scabs off the diamond was future Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor who ruled an injunction against the owners and subsequently the replacements. 

Opening Day of the '95 season was met with pissed off working stiffs wondering why they were paying their hard earned money to watch millionaires argue with billionaires over how to spend it. Television ratings sucked. Attendance at games sucked (dropping by over 6,000 people per contest over the entire season). Which is pretty much how post-strike fans should behave. Anarchy fucking reigned and protests were the order of the day from fans in New York throwing dough at players' feet to delays in Pittsburgh and Detroit to a fan in Cincinatti summing up the attitude perfectly by renting a plane with a banner saying "Owners & Players: To hell with all of you!"  Replacement umps were used and Players Association head Donald Fehr boiled over and flipped off a Yankee fan for heckling him. 

The biggest impact of the entire debacle was felt north of the border in Montreal where the midway '94 World Series favorites were disbanded leaving a trail of shit pointing to Olympic Stadium. It never got better, Montreal never made the postseason and, after rumors of disappearing entirely via contraction, they booked for D.C. less than a decade later to become the Nationals. Canucks are forever left to wonder whether the Expos could've followed the Blue Jays lead and made it three straight titles for Canada.

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