This study will examine the 1994 strike in major league baseball in 1994 and the long-term results of that strike. The argument of the study is that while the strike was devastating to baseball in 1994, shortening two seasons in 1994 and 1995, by 1998 the long-term damage done to the game had been almost entirely eliminated.
The basic issue of the salary cap was one which in the first place was not of great interest to fans, and whatever damage was done by the strike was undone in large part because of the excitement generated in 1998 by the home-run race between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, but also because. for better or worse, baseball remains the national pastime and fans of the sport eventually forget, or at least forgive, and return to the game with as much fervor as ever.
Nevertheless, when the strike took place in 1994, and when it continued to reverberate through the next season, there was no doubt that the game was being hurt in the eyes of the fans. When one speaks of baseball, one is speaking of an enormous corporate business enterprise. The product is entertainment, and as long as consumers are paying money to watch that entertainment, and television is paying money to broadcast it, then the business is doing well.
The owners of baseball teams and the players of baseball are all relatively wealthy individuals who are not profoundly affected by strikes. The only question from their point of view is the degree of wealth they will enjoy as a result of the business. Therefore, the question of how the 1994 strike affected the game is largely a matter of how it affected the fans. The only way the game or business of baseball would be changed radically from the owners and players point of view is if the fans were irrevocably driven away from the game, turned off from the sight of watching rich and very rich individuals fight over their millions and millions of dollars.
As stated previously, fans were not irrevo...