The 1994 work stoppage is easily the worst event in recent baseball history. The strike not only cut the season short, it also led to the cancellation of the World Series. It took years for baseball to win back many fans.
Perhaps no team suffered more as a result of the 1994 work stoppage than the Montreal Expos. They had baseball's best record at 74-40 at the time of the strike, and their roster was loaded. Pedro Martinez, Larry Walker, Moises Alou, Cliff Floyd, Marquis Grissom, Ken Hill, John Wetteland ... they were stacked.
The strike wiped away the franchise's best chance for a World Series title, and in subsequent years the Expos dealt with financial problems that forced them trade away many of those great players, not to mention led to the team's move to Washington. That 1994 season had a chance to be special in Montreal.
Well, diehard Expos fans who are still hanging around can now go back and pretend their club played in that 1994 World Series. A limited edition hat sold by Hat Club celebrates the Expos fictitious trip to the 1994 Fall Classic. It's a legitimate New Era 59Fifty hit with a 1994 World Series patch. Check it out:
What do you think? I think it works because the Expos are defunct. Slapping a 1994 World Series patch on, say, a Yankees or Cardinals hat would seem sort of silly. Putting the patch on an Expos hat helps drive home the point that this is fictitious.
Of course, having the best record in MLB at the time of the strike didn't make the Expos a lock to advance to the World Series. In fact, only three teams since 1999 have gone on to win the World Series after finishing with the best record in MLB during the regular season (2007 Red Sox, 2009 Yankees, 2013 Red Sox).
Unfortunately the "what if" hats are sold out already. You'll have to scour eBay to find one now.
(h/t Big League Stew)