The 1994 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 1994 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 4, and ended on Sunday, October 9, with the champions of the three AL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. The teams were:
⦁ (1) New York Yankees (Eastern Division champion, 101–61) vs. (4) Cleveland Indians (Wild Card, 97–65): Yankees win series, 3–2.
⦁ (2) Chicago White Sox (Central Division champion, 98–64) vs. (3) Texas Rangers (Western Division champion, 74–88): White Sox win series, 3–0.
The higher seed (in parentheses) had the home field advantage, which was not tied to playing record but was predetermined—a highly unpopular arrangement which was discontinued after the 1997 playoffs. Also, the team with home field "advantage" was required to play the first two games on the road, with potentially the last three at home, in order to reduce travel. Had the 1994 ALDS been played under the post-1997 arrangement, then New York (1) would've still faced off against Cleveland (4) and Chicago (2) would've likewise, still faced off against Texas (3).
The Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees went on to meet in the AL Championship Series (ALCS). The White Sox became the American League champion, and defeated the National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1994 World Series.
1994 American League Division Series
New York Yankees (3) Buck Showalter 101-61, .623, GA: 12
Cleveland Indians (2) Mike Hargrove 97-65, .599, GB: 1
Dates: October 4 – 9
TV announcers: Steve Zabriskie and Tommy Hutton
Radio announcers: John Rooney and Jeff Torborg
Umpires: Tim McClelland, John Hirschbeck, Ted Hendry, Durwood Merrill, Dave Phillips, Dave Ford.
Chicago White Sox (3) Gene Lamont 98-64, .605, GA: 1
Texas Rangers (0) Kevin Kennedy 74-88, .457, GA: 3
Dates: October 4 – 7
TV announcers: Brent Musburger and Jim Kaat
Radio announcers: Ernie Harwell and Al Downing
Umpires: Dan Morrison, Drew Coble, Greg Kosc, Jim Joyce, Rick Reed, Derryl Cousins.
New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians
New York won the series, 3–2.
1 October 4 New York Yankees– 4, Cleveland Indians– 5 Jacobs Field 2:52 44,232
2 October 5 New York Yankees– 3, Cleveland Indians– 4 Jacobs Field 2:41 42,255
3 October 7 Cleveland Indians– 3, New York Yankees– 7 Yankee Stadium 2:55 57,121
4 October 8 Cleveland Indians– 2, New York Yankees– 4 Yankee Stadium 3:08 57,021
5 October 9 Cleveland Indians– 4, New York Yankees– 7 Yankee Stadium 3:23 57,177
Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers
Chicago won the series, 3–0.
1 October 4 Chicago White Sox– 7, Texas Rangers– 3 The Ballpark in Arlington 3:05 50,161
2 October 5 Chicago White Sox– 6, Texas Rangers– 2 The Ballpark in Arlington 3:17 50,775
3 October 7 Texas Rangers– 3, Chicago White Sox– 8 Comiskey Park 2:41 45,127
New York vs. Cleveland
The format of this series and the one in the NL was similar to that of the League Championship Series prior to 1985, a five game set where in the first two games were played at one stadium and the last three at the other. This was much criticized as the team with homefield advantage had their games back ended. At the same time a team with two games often preferred them in the middle as opposed to three straight in the opposing team's ballpark. The highly unpopular format was later abandoned for the present more logical 2–2–1 format. Although the 2-3 format would return in 2012 due to the addition of the Wildcard games. MLB would revert to the 2-2-1 format in 2013.
Game 1 got underway with, Jimmy Key and Dennis Martinez, starting the opener. Playing in its first playoff game since Game 4 of the 1954 World Series, Cleveland got out in front in the first inning with a double by Omar Vizquel, and a single by Jim Thome to drive in the first run of the game. It would be a back and forth game up to the third inning with New York leading 3-2. After being down 4-2 going into the sixth inning, Cleveland would score three runs to put them ahead 5-4, which was where the score remained as Jose Mesa shut the door on Game 1 and get the save, leading Cleveland to its first postseason win since Game 6 of the 1948 World Series.
Game 2 featured Jim Abbott and Jack Morris. Cleveland got off to an early start in the first inning with a Jim Thome solo home run into right center field to put Cleveland on the board 1-0. With the game tied 1-1 going into the sixth inning, Cleveland would put up three more runs to give them a 4-1 lead. Despite an effort by New York, with a two run home run by Mike Stanley into right field in the seventh inning, this was all that they would get as Jose Mesa would save the game for Cleveland.
Game 3 saw a matchup of Charles Nagy and Melido Perez. The New York Yankees were hosting a postseason game for the first time since losing in the 1981 World Series, and the first time with Don Mattingly on their roster. New York would drive in three runs in the first inning, and two runs in the second inning to make it a 5-0 lead early. New York would be in control throughout the game and eventually got the win.
Sterling Hitchcock faced Mark Clark in Game 4. The game would be scoreless up until the fourth inning when New York would get on the board first from a two run RBI by Bernie Williams to give New York a 2-0 lead. However, the lead would not last long, as the game went into the fifth inning, when Eddie Murray hit a two run home run to right center field to tie the game up at 2-2. New York would come right back in the bottom half of the inning to give themselves a 3-2 lead. After New York added another run late in the game, Steve Howe would come in to close it out to set up Game 5.
Jack Morris faced Jim Abbott in Game 5. By the fourth inning, Cleveland had a 2-0 lead going into the bottom half of that inning. New York would pile on four runs to give them a 4-2 lead. They would add on two more in the fifth inning to make it a 6-2 lead for New York. After Cleveland added two runs in the sixth inning, New York would add another run from Mike Stanley's solo home run to give them a 7-4 lead. Steve Howe came in the game in the ninth inning to get the save, and the series win for New York.
Chicago vs. Texas
Jack McDowell faced Kevin Brown in Game 1. It was the Texas Rangers first ever postseason game. The game stood at 1-1 after four innings, Chicago would score one run each in the next three innings, with Texas scoring a run as well, which made it a 4-2 lead for Chicago after seven innings. Robin Ventura's RBI double in the eighth inning, along with a single by Ron Karkovice, would give Chicago a 7-2 lead. Texas would score another run later in that inning, but that was all they could do as Chicago would get the win after a groundball by Ivan Rodriguez ended the game.
Wilson Alvarez faced Kenny Rogers in Game 2. Texas started things off with a solo home run by Will Clark into left center field to give them a 1-0 lead. Things quickly changed however, as RBIs by Robin Ventura and Darrin Jackson, and a two run home run by Ron Karkovice put Chicago on top 4-1. It would remain that way until the seventh inning, when Darrin Jackson hit a two run home run into left field to give Chicago a 6-1 lead. Texas would add a run in the eighth inning to make it 6-2, but that's where the score would remain as Chicago would quickly close out the game.
In Game 3, Hector Fajardo faced Jason Bere. Texas would get on the board first with an early 1-0 lead. Ron Karkovice hit a two run home run in the second inning to put Chicago up 2-1. After a Will Clark solo home run in the third inning, and an RBI by Jeff Frye in the top half of the fifth inning gave Texas a 3-2 lead, Chicago would have a big inning in the bottom half of the fifth inning, as Tim Raines would hit a grand slam to right center field, and then a solo home run by Frank Thomas right after that would give Chicago a 7-3 lead. After an insurance run in the eighth inning for Chicago gave them an 8-3 lead, Chicago would close it out in the ninth inning to give them the series win. This was the White Sox' first postseason home win since Game 1 of the 1959 World Series, and their first postseason series win since the 1917 World Series.