Baseball shortened seasons

When comparing baseball stats between seasons, I sometimes catch myself when I come across a stat from maybe 1994 or perhaps 1981.  Then one second before I realize “Oh yeah, the strike-shortened year” or whatever. 

So for my own edification then anything, here are the list of baseball seasons that were shortened by labor strikes, lockouts, or whatever reason and the number of actual games played that season.

Disclaimer:  The amount of games played indicated are approximate figures.  Obviously in the cases of mid-season interruptions, some teams played more, some less.



129 games played

The season was shortened due to World War I.



140 games played

Team owners decided to shorten the season to 140 games in 1919 in anticipation of low attendance (because of WWI in the previous years).  Attendance actually surprised them and was high and they turned a profit.



156 games played

Due to the 1972 Major League Baseball Strike.



111 games played

Due to the 1981 Major League Baseball Strike.



117 games played

Due to the 1994 Major League Baseball Strike.



144 games played


The 1995 season was abbreviated to 144 games because of the strike the previous year.



Also note that in the years 1901-1903 in both leagues, the seasons only consisted of 140 games. 

3 Responses to “Baseball shortened seasons”

  1. Great idea.

    I love that World War II couldn’t shorten a baseball season, but labor disputes did so four times. And that 1972 season has always fascinated me – no way the situation in the AL East is allowed to happen in this day and age.

  2. I was so ignorant about the 1972 dispute (I was 8 at the time). This gave me a chance to read up on it.

  3. I think the MLB rules were changed after 1972 to prevent a recurrence of the Detroit/Boston injustice. But I have never been able to find the rule. I found numerous explanations of the rules – of how playoff standings are decided – but not the actual rule itself. Anyone know where the actual rule can be found? ?

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