The Seattle Mariners1981 season was their fifth since the franchise creation, and ended the season finishing 6th in the American League West, finishing with a record of 44-65. Due to the 1981 player's strike, the division's were split in half, pre-strike and post-strike results. The Mariners finished 6th with a 21-36 record in the first half and 5th with a 23-29 record in the second half.
November 18, 1980: Brad Gulden was traded by the New York Yankees with $150,000 to the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later and Larry Milbourne. The Seattle Mariners sent back Brad Gulden (May 18, 1981) to the New York Yankees to complete the trade. In effect, Brad Gulden was traded for himself.
On January 14, 1981, the Mariners' were sold to George Argyros, a Californiareal estate developer, for an estimated $12.5 million. The sale of the team, that needed the approval of 10 out of 14 owners of American League teams, received a unanimous vote of consent. On April 25, 1981, Mariners' manager Maury Wills advised the Kingdome groundskeepers to enlarge the batter's box by a foot. A's manager Billy Martin noticed. Martin showed umpire Bill Kunkel that the batter's box was seven feet long instead of six feet. Martin felt that batters being able to move up a foot in the box could cut at pitches before a curveball broke. Wills was suspended for two games and fined $500. In May, while in Arlington, Texas to play the Texas Rangers, the Mariners' uniforms were stolen. For the May 30 game against the Rangers, the Mariners wore their batting practice jerseys, Milwaukee Brewers' caps, and Rangers' batting helmets. The Mariners purchased the Brewers caps at the Rangers' souvenir-stand; the Rangers did not offer Seattle caps for sale.