The 1994 World Series was canceled on September 14 of that year due to an ongoing strike by the Major League Baseball Players Association, which had begun on August 12. It was only the second time in the event's history (the first was in 1904) that the Fall Classic was not played.
This was to have been the first year of a regularly scheduled three-tier playoff system, with the NL and AL divided into three divisions (East, Central, and West) at the start of the 1994 season. (An unscheduled three-tier system was used in 1981 due to the shortening of the season by a mid-season labor dispute.) The new playoff system (involving a wild card team in each league) did not go into effect until the 1995 postseason. Had the postseason taken place based on team records as of August 11, the participants in each division series would have been determined as follows:
Atlanta Braves' run of division titles
Because division champions from 1994 are unofficial, the Atlanta Braves are officially credited with winning 14 consecutive division titles from 1991 to 2005, winning the NL West in the final three years of the two–division system and then winning 11 consecutive NL East titles from 1995 to 2005. At the time of the season's cancellation, however, the Braves were in second place in the NL East at 68–46, six games behind the Montreal Expos. The 11 titles from 1995 to 2005 are an MLB record nonetheless. The Braves had a 2½ game lead over the Houston Astros for the NL wild card at the time the rest of the season was canceled.
The Associated Press writers, at the end of the aborted season, chose to name "unofficial" champions when naming their Managers of the Year as Felipe Alou of the Expos and Buck Showalter of the Yankees, who were leading when the season abruptly ended. The next season's All-Star Game managers are, by tradition, the managers of the previous year's league champions; and so the leagues chose to name those unofficial league champion managers of 1994 to the traditional honor of managing the 1995 All-Star Game.
The 1994 World Series was scheduled to air on ABC, in the first year of a six-year-long joint venture with Major League Baseball, ABC, and NBC called "The Baseball Network." Because this Series was cancelled, ABC and NBC shared broadcast rights to the 1995 World Series, after which the joint venture was ended, and Fox started televising MLB games the following season. Fox and NBC would alternate World Series telecasts from 1996 up to 2000, after which Fox held exclusive rights to all subsequent editions.
Home field advantage
The 1994 World Series was supposed to have the AL champion open at home for the second year in a row because the playoffs were expanded to include the new wild-card round. Up to 1993, the NL champion opened the World Series at home in even-numbered years and the AL champion in odd-numbered years; 1994 reversed this pattern. Even though the AL missed having home-field advantage in the 1994 World Series, the NL champion was granted home advantage in 1995, as would have been the case had the 1994 Series occurred.