TheBaseballPage.com

West Division

Central Division

East Division

Series Wrapup

Story

Major League Baseball elected to undergo its first major realignment in 25 years prior to the start of the 1994 campaign when it adopted a new three-division setup in each league.  The basic provisions of the new structure called for five-team divisions in the East and the Central, a four-team division in the West, an additional round of playoffs, and the institution of a wild-card entry into the postseason tournament.

The initial division setup in the National League had the Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins, Montreal Expos, New York Mets, and Philadelphia Phillies taking up residence in the East.  The Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates, and St. Louis Cardinals comprised the circuit’s Central Division.  Meanwhile, the Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and San Diego Padres called the Western Division home.

The new alignment created additional fan interest the first few months of the season since more teams had a realistic chance of advancing to the playoffs.  However, the players’ strike that ended the season prematurely on August 12 destroyed whatever growth in popularity the sport enjoyed from April through July.  It took a record-setting performance turned in by the New York Yankees and an epic home run race waged between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa to bring back much of the disenchanted fan base four years later.   

In spite of the unhappy ending, the 1994 baseball season offered some exciting pennant races, memorable moments, and outstanding team and individual performances.

After winning 104 games and advancing to the playoffs for the third straight time the previous year, the Atlanta Braves entered the 1994 campaign as favorites to capture the N.L. East title.  The Braves played solid ball before the players left their jobs, posting a record of 68-46.  They had the league’s best pitcher in Greg Maddux, and their lineup featured one of the circuit’s top sluggers in Fred McGriff.  Maddux earned Cy Young honors for the third consecutive time by leading all N.L. hurlers with 16 wins, a 1.56 ERA, 10 complete games, three shutouts, and 202 innings pitched.  McGriff batted .318 and placed among the league leaders with 34 home runs and 94 runs batted in.   

Nevertheless, the Braves trailed the first-place Montreal Expos by six full games at the conclusion of play on August 12.  The Expos seemed destined to return to the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade after they compiled a major-league best 74-40 record over the season’s first four months.  Only the players’ strike likely prevented them from winning their first N.L. East title since 1981.

A young and talent-laden ball club, Montreal thrived under manager Felipe Alou, who had the honor of penciling his own son’s name onto his team’s lineup card every day.  Moises Alou led the Expos with 22 homers and a .339 batting average, and he also finished second on the team with 78 runs batted in and 81 runs scored.  Larry Walker homered 19 times, drove in 86 runs, and batted .322.  Marquis Grissom batted .288, scored 96 runs, and stole 36 bases.  Meanwhile, Ken Hill finished 16-5, to tie Maddux for the league-lead in victories.  A 22-year-old Pedro Martinez joined Hill at the top of Montreal’s starting rotation, placing second on the team with 11 wins and leading the club with 142 strikeouts.

While the Expos posted baseball’s best record, the Los Angeles Dodgers held onto first place in the N.L. West even though they barely won more games than they lost.  The Dodgers claimed the division’s top spot by compiling a mark of 58-56 that left them 3 ½ games ahead of the second-place San Francisco Giants.

Mike Piazza and Tim Wallach were the Dodgers’ two best players.  Piazza led the club with 24 homers, 92 runs batted in, and a .319 batting average.  Wallach added 23 homers and 78 RBIs.  

San Francisco’s lineup featured the division’s top two sluggers in Barry Bonds and Matt Williams.  Bonds batted .312 and placed among the league leaders with 37 home runs, 81 runs batted in, and 89 runs scored.  Williams topped the circuit with 43 homers and finished second with 96 runs batted in.

Meanwhile, San Diego’s Tony Gwynn continued to excel even though his team ended play on August 12 with the National League’s worst record.  Mounting the first real challenge to the magical .400-mark since George Brett batted .390 for the Royals in 1980, Gwynn concluded the campaign with a mark of .394 that represented the highest figure compiled by any player since Ted Williams batted .406 for Boston in 1941.  Gwynn also led the league with 165 hits.

The closest division race in the senior circuit took place in the N.L. Central, where the Cincinnati Reds compiled a record of 66-48 that left them just a half-game in front of the second-place Houston Astros.  Kevin Mitchell and Hal Morris paced Cincinnati’s offense, which ranked first in the league in runs scored (609), batting average (.286), on-base percentage (.350), and slugging average (.449).  Mitchell hit 30 home runs, knocked in 77 runs, and batted .326.  Morris drove in 78 runs and placed among the league leaders with a .335 batting average.

The runner-up Astros, who also finished second to Cincinnati in the league rankings in most offensive categories, featured the circuit’s best player in Jeff Bagwell.  The slugging first baseman earned N.L. MVP honors by hitting 39 home runs, batting .368, and leading the league with 116 runs batted in, 104 runs scored, 300 total bases, and a .750 slugging average.

Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:

• Claiming he felt he could no longer play at his usual high level, Ryne Sandberg announced his retirement on June 13.

• Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith recorded his 8,017th assist, breaking Luis Aparicio’s major league record for shortstops.

• New York’s Dwight Gooden was suspended on June 18 for violating his drug aftercare program for the second time.

• Raul Mondesi of the Dodgers (.306 batting average) earned N.L. Rookie of the Year honors.

Seasons of the National League

1876 · 1877 · 1878 · 1879 · 1880 · 1881 · 1882 · 1883 · 1884 · 1885 · 1886 · 1887 · 1888 · 1889 · 1890 · 1891 · 1892 · 1893 · 1894 · 1895 · 1896 · 1897 · 1898 · 1899 · 1900 · 1901 · 1902 · 1903 · 1904 · 1905 · 1906 · 1907 · 1908 · 1909 · 1910 · 1911 · 1912 · 1913 · 1914 · 1915 · 1916 · 1917 · 1918 · 1919 · 1920 · 1921 · 1922 · 1923 · 1924 · 1925 · 1926 · 1927 · 1928 · 1929 · 1930 · 1931 · 1932 · 1933 · 1934 · 1935 · 1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939 · 1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945 · 1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949 · 1950 · 1951 · 1952 · 1953 · 1954 · 1955 · 1956 · 1957 · 1958 · 1959 · 1960 · 1961 · 1962 · 1963 · 1964 · 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969 · 1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974 · 1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979 · 1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989 · 1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999 · 2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010  

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
ATL 1541 3861 542 1031 510 .268 198 18 137 48 31 1676 .378 .404 .827 104 29 60
CHN 1610 3918 500 1015 464 .156 189 26 109 69 53 1583 .312 .239 .615 84 23 54
CIN 1605 3999 609 1142 569 .237 211 36 124 119 51 1797 .337 .351 .712 83 42 53
COL 1670 4006 573 1098 540 .182 206 39 125 91 53 1757 .338 .282 .711 96 36 50
FLO 1595 3926 468 1043 451 .199 180 24 94 65 26 1553 .313 .283 .640 81 30 42
HOU 1583 3955 602 1099 573 .234 252 25 120 124 44 1761 .344 .332 .701 73 35 73
LAN 1588 3904 532 1055 505 .239 160 29 115 74 37 1618 .358 .322 .733 89 31 51
MON 1582 4000 585 1111 542 .221 246 30 108 137 36 1741 .331 .316 .670 77 42 53
NYN 1564 3869 506 966 477 .170 164 21 117 25 26 1523 .294 .253 .603 70 31 59
PHI 1533 3927 521 1028 484 .232 208 28 80 67 24 1532 .332 .322 .684 95 31 51
PIT 1563 3864 466 1001 435 .253 198 23 80 53 25 1485 .351 .331 .736 90 28 36
SDN 1638 4068 479 1117 445 .222 200 19 92 79 37 1631 .392 .322 .788 112 33 67
SFN 1588 3869 504 963 472 .175 159 32 123 114 40 1555 .304 .267 .633 72 27 65
SLN 1610 3902 535 1026 506 .191 213 27 108 76 46 1617 .342 .293 .705 80 37 44

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
ATL 358 68 46 1027 865 378 4322 929 76 58.110 407 448 16 4 26 35 10
CHN 399 49 64 1024 717 392 4413 1054 120 89.550 508 549 5 1 27 41 6
CIN 376 66 48 1039 799 339 4411 1037 117 73.070 436 490 6 2 27 41 10
COL 446 53 64 1033 703 448 4644 1185 120 99.670 592 638 4 1 28 50 11
FLO 415 51 64 1013 649 428 4474 1069 120 99.270 508 576 5 3 30 57 13
HOU 383 66 49 1029 739 367 4412 1043 102 51.150 454 503 9 3 29 35 6
LAN 353 58 56 1013 732 354 4369 1041 90 79.920 470 509 14 4 20 42 7
MON 373 74 40 1038 805 288 4329 970 100 132.300 411 454 4 2 46 32 2
NYN 351 55 58 1022 640 332 4383 1069 117 88.660 472 526 7 2 35 26 6
PHI 358 54 61 1023 699 377 4438 1028 98 76.290 439 497 7 1 30 45 6
PIT 399 53 61 1005 650 370 4393 1094 117 129.200 520 580 8 1 24 24 11
SDN 390 47 70 1044 862 393 4503 1008 99 102.200 474 531 8 3 27 48 5
SFN 403 55 60 1022 655 372 4369 1014 122 87.280 455 500 2 0 33 32 8
SLN 445 53 61 1018 632 355 4470 1154 134 125.800 584 621 7 3 29 40 5

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
ATL 1866 5080 3730 1246 104 .973 12315 90 32 0 11
CHN 1886 5188 3814 1273 101 .961 12286 75 46 0 10
CIN 1897 5180 3882 1209 89 .975 12459 78 39 0 17
COL 1888 5164 3784 1282 98 .971 12373 87 44 1.00 5
FLO 1914 5194 3848 1232 114 .971 12178 59 52 2.00 18
HOU 1831 5220 3839 1290 91 .975 12358 85 36 1.00 16
LAN 1902 5128 3752 1274 102 .958 12168 90 33 0 12
MON 1871 5207 3900 1198 109 .969 12442 99 32 0 3
NYN 1842 5239 3829 1308 102 .955 12278 68 34 0 10
PHI 1823 5116 3845 1165 106 .964 12287 87 30 0 11
PIT 1840 5178 3707 1365 106 .952 12067 78 31 0 11
SDN 1929 5205 3860 1216 129 .976 12547 99 45 0 11
SFN 1844 5208 3834 1296 78 .979 12300 76 35 0 6
SLN 1802 5245 3858 1288 99 .942 12216 70 40 1.00 6

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
Los Angeles Dodgers 58 56 2279355 1 732
San Francisco Giants 55 60 1704608 2 655
Colorado Rockies 53 64 3281511 3 703
San Diego Padres 47 70 953857 4 862

Central

team W L Att Rk SOP
Houston Astros 66 49 1561136 2 739
Cincinnati Reds 66 48 1897681 1 799
St. Louis Cardinals 53 61 1866544 3 632
Pittsburg Pirates 53 61 1222520 3 650
Chicago Cubs 49 64 1845208 5 717

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
Montreal Expos 74 40 1276250 1 805
Atlanta Braves 68 46 2539240 2 865
New York Mets 55 58 1151471 3 640
Philadelphia Philies 54 61 2290971 4 699
Florida Marlins 51 64 1937467 5 649

More From Around the Web

This day in baseball history

October 26

  • 2008

    The Philadelphia Phillies top the Rays&n ...

  • 2005

    On October 26, 2005, the Chicago White Sox defeat the Astros ...

  • 2004

    Prior to Game 3 of in the 2004 World Series,  ...

More Baseball History
Tagged:
Barry Bonds, Dwight Gooden, Felipe Alou, Fred McGriff, Greg Maddux, Hal Morris, Jeff Bagwell, Ken Hill, Kevin Mitchell, Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom, Matt Williams, Mike Piazza, Moises Alou, Montreal Expos, Ozzie Smith, Pedro Martinez, Raul Mondesi, Ryne Sandberg, Tim Wallach, Tony Gwynn

Comments

    Be respectful, keep it clean.
Login or register to post comments

Share US

Share |