1981 World Series

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1981 World Series
1981 World Series.gif
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Los Angeles Dodgers (4) Tommy Lasorda 36–21, .632, GA: ½ (1st Half)
27–26, .509, GB: 6 (2nd Half)
New York Yankees (2) Bob Lemon 34–22, .607, GA: 2 (1st Half)
25–26, .490, GB: 5 (2nd Half)
Dates: October 20 – 28
MVP: Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero, and Steve Yeager (Los Angeles)
Television: ABC
TV announcers: Keith Jackson (Games 1, 2, 6), Al Michaels (Games 3, 4, 5) , Howard Cosell and Jim Palmer
Radio: CBS
Radio announcers: Vin Scully and Sparky Anderson
Umpires: Larry Barnett (AL), Nick Colosi (NL), Terry Cooney (AL), Doug Harvey (NL), Rich Garcia (AL), Dick Stello (NL)
Hall of Famers: Umpire: Doug Harvey
Dodgers: Tommy Lasorda (mgr.).
Yankees: Goose Gossage, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield.
ALCS: New York Yankees over Oakland Athletics (3–0)
NLCS: Los Angeles Dodgers over Montreal Expos (3–2)
 < 1980 World Series 1982 > 
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The 1981 World Series matched the New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers, marking their third meeting in the Series in five years as well as a record eleventh Series meeting overall and last Series meeting to date. The Dodgers won the Series in six games for their first title since 1965, and their first victory over the Yankees since 1963 and third over them overall.

This is the last World Series that a team won after losing the first two games on the road. This also was the last meeting between teams from New York City and Los Angeles for a major professional sports championship until the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers reached the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals.

Background[edit]

Due to the players' strike, which ran from June 12 to August 8, the 1981 season was split into two halves, with the first-place teams from each half in each division (or a wild card team if the same club won both halves) meeting in a best-of-five divisional playoff series. The four survivors would then move on to the two best-of-five League Championship Series.

In the National League, the Dodgers led the National League West prior to the strike. The Houston Astros, however, won the second-half division title. The Dodgers then defeated the Astros, three games to two, in the National League Division Series before beating the Montreal Expos, three games to two, in the National League Championship Series.

The Yankees, who led the American League East in the season's first half, took on the Milwaukee Brewers, winners of the second half division title, in the American League Division Series. New York was victorious three games to two, then went on to sweep the Oakland Athletics in the American League Championship Series.

The split-season decision was not a popular one, both among teams and their fans. The arrangement resulted in teams with the best overall record in either their division or league that year, in particular the Cincinnati Reds (the majors' best team with 66 wins, 42 losses), being left out of the postseason.

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

The Dodgers got to the Series with help from Mexican-born rookie phenom Fernando Valenzuela, who won his first eight games including five by shutout. Valenzuela would pitch eight shutouts in all and win both the National League's Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. Joining Valenzuela in the rotation were veterans Burt Hooton (11–6, 2.28) and Jerry Reuss (10–4, 2.30). The core of the position players remained intact with perennial all-star Steve Garvey at first, Davey Lopes at second, Bill Russell at shortstop, and team leader in home runs with thirteen, Ron Cey at third. Budding star, Pedro Guerrero, would move to the outfield becoming a regular starter for the first time in his career, in place of the aging and often injured Reggie Smith.

Manager Tommy Lasorda was looking for his first World Series win in his fifth full season with the Dodgers after losing to the Yankees in 1977 and 1978.

New York Yankees[edit]

The Yankees, managed by Bob Lemon (in his second stint, having replaced Gene Michael), had a losing second-half (25–26) but won the first-half (34–22) to qualify for the playoffs. Ace starter Ron Guidry won eleven games against five losses. Rookie Dave Righetti emerged as an important starter, winning eight games with a 2.05 ERA. Righetti would win the American League's Rookie of the Year award after the season. Reliever Goose Gossage recorded twenty saves and an 0.77 ERA, striking out 48 in 47 innings.

Dave Winfield was signed as a free agent in the off-season, joining Reggie Jackson in the outfield, and would lead the club with 25 doubles and 68 RBIs. Winfield's huge contract ($21 million over ten years), along with a strong lineup and terrific left-handed starting pitching, was not enough to deny the Dodgers their first world championship since 1965.

Summary[edit]

NL Los Angeles Dodgers (4) vs. AL New York Yankees (2)

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance
1 October 20 Los Angeles Dodgers – 3, New York Yankees – 5 Yankee Stadium (I) 2:32 56,470[1]
2 October 21 Los Angeles Dodgers – 0, New York Yankees – 3 Yankee Stadium (I) 2:29 56,505[2] 
3 October 23 New York Yankees – 4, Los Angeles Dodgers – 5 Dodger Stadium 3:04 56,236[3] 
4 October 24 New York Yankees – 7, Los Angeles Dodgers – 8 Dodger Stadium 3:32 56,242[4] 
5 October 25 New York Yankees – 1, Los Angeles Dodgers – 2 Dodger Stadium 2:19 56,115[5] 
6 October 28 Los Angeles Dodgers – 9, New York Yankees – 2 Yankee Stadium (I) 3:09 56,513[6]

: postponed from October 27 due to rain

Matchups[edit]

Game 1[edit]

Tuesday, October 20, 1981 at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 3 5 0
New York 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 X 5 6 0
WP: Ron Guidry (1–0)   LP: Jerry Reuss (0–1)   Sv: Goose Gossage (1)
Home runs:
LAD: Steve Yeager (1)
NYY: Bob Watson (1)

Bob Watson smashed a three-run homer off Jerry Reuss in the first to get the Yankees started. Lou Piniella chased Reuss with an RBI single in the third, and Dodger reliever Bobby Castillo walked four batters in the fourth to give New York a 5–0 lead. Ron Guidry held the Dodgers to four hits and a run (on a Steve Yeager homer) through seven innings. Ron Davis gave up two in the eighth, but Goose Gossage closed out the win in the ninth. Yankee third baseman Graig Nettles suffered a hairline fracture of his left thumb when he made a diving stop. The injury caused him to miss Games 3, 4, and 5, but he played in Games 2 & 6.

Game 2[edit]

Wednesday, October 21, 1981 at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2
New York 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 X 3 6 1
WP: Tommy John (1–0)   LP: Burt Hooton (0–1)   Sv: Goose Gossage (2)

Former teammates Burt Hooton and Tommy John were locked in a scoreless duel until the fifth, when Larry Milbourne doubled in Willie Randolph for the only run John would really need. The Yankees pushed across two more in the eighth off Steve Howe on a RBI single by Bob Watson and a sacrifice fly by Randolph. John pitched seven shutout innings, and Goose Gossage closed for his second save in two games.

Game 3[edit]

Friday, October 23, 1981 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 0
Los Angeles 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 X 5 11 1
WP: Fernando Valenzuela (1–0)   LP: George Frazier (0–1)
Home runs:
NYY: Bob Watson (2), Rick Cerone (1)
LAD: Ron Cey (1)

Prior to this game, Yankee manager Bob Lemon made a questionable move by not playing Reggie Jackson. Jackson injured himself running the bases in Game 2 of the ALCS and missed the first two games of the World Series, but was medically cleared to play Game 3. Jackson was not even allowed to pinch-hit. Lemon said he was resting Jackson as a precaution and because the Dodgers were starting a left hand pitcher.[citation needed]

NL Rookie of the Year, pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, lasted the entire game despite allowing nine hits and walking seven and constantly pitching out of trouble. He walked two Yankee batters in the first, but pitched out of it. Ron Cey, meanwhile, provided him a 3–0 lead in the Dodger half with a three-run homer off Dave Righetti.

The Yankees cut it to 3–2 in the second on a Bob Watson homer and a Larry Milbourne RBI single. Valenzuela stranded two runners in this inning. Rick Cerone gave the Yanks a 4–3 lead in the third with a two-run homer, but the Yankees left two on once again. Watson led off the fifth with a double, but no one scored as Valenzuela pitched out of it again. In both the third and fifth innings, the Dodgers were helped by the Yankees' being unable to use a designated hitter (since it was used in last season's Series). In both innings, Valenzuela issued two-out intentional walks to Larry Milbourne in order to pitch to Dave Righetti and George Frazier. Valenzuela struck out the pitchers both times.

The Dodgers gave Valenzuela the lead back in the bottom of the fifth when Pedro Guerrero doubled in Steve Garvey to tie it, and Cey scored on a double play grounder by Mike Scioscia. With a lead and the Dodger Stadium crowd behind him, Valenzuela appeared to finally settle down. After pinch hitting, Valenzuela's regular catcher Mike Scioscia took over behind the plate. This seemed to have a calming effect on the rookie, as Scioscia knew Spanish and was better able to talk with Valenzuela than Steve Yeager.[7]

The Yankees mounted their final threat in the eighth when Aurelio Rodríguez and Milbourne led off with back-to-back singles. Pinch-hitter Bobby Murcer attempted a sacrifice bunt (another questionable decision by Lemon), but popped it foul. Cey dove and caught it, then doubled Milbourne off first.

mlb.com coverage of Game 3

Game 4[edit]

Saturday, October 24, 1981 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 2 1 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 7 13 1
Los Angeles 0 0 2 0 1 3 2 0 X 8 14 2
WP: Steve Howe (1–0)   LP: George Frazier (0–2)
Home runs:
NYY: Willie Randolph (1), Reggie Jackson (1)
LAD: Jay Johnstone (1)

After being held out of game 3, Reggie Jackson was back in the starting lineup for this game. The Yankees batters had early success against Dodgers pitcher Bob Welch, who faced four batters without recording an out before being relieved by Dave Goltz. Willie Randolph led the game off with a triple and scored on a Larry Milbourne double. Dave Winfield walked and Jackson singled before Goltz gave up a sacrifice fly to Bob Watson. Randolph smashed a two-out solo home run in the second and Rick Cerone batted in a run with a single in the third for a 4–0 Yankee lead.

Yankee starter Rick Reuschel then had problems of his own. He allowed an RBI single to Davey Lopes and an RBI groundout to Ron Cey in the third before leaving in favor of Rudy May. May gave up a double to Steve Garvey and an RBI single to Cey in the fifth, but the Yankees countered with two in the sixth on RBI singles by Oscar Gamble and Watson off Tom Niedenfuer.

With a 6–3 lead, the Yankees turned the pitching over to their relief combination of Ron Davis and Goose Gossage. Davis had troubles in the sixth. He issued a one-out walk to Mike Scioscia and gave up a pinch-hit homer to Jay Johnstone to make the score 6–5. Then, Lopes lifted a fly ball to right that Jackson lost in the sun and dropped. Lopes reached second and stole third with no throw by Cerone three pitches later. Davis then gave up a game-tying single to Bill Russell.

In the seventh, Dusty Baker led off with an infield hit off George Frazier and went to third on a Rick Monday liner that got past centerfielder Bobby Brown when he tried to make a shoestring catch. Monday reached second. Pedro Guerrero was then walked intentionally. In another curious decision, Yankee manager Bob Lemon then brought starting pitcher Tommy John out of the bullpen instead of Gossage. Steve Yeager, hitting for Scioscia, promptly gave the Dodgers the lead when he drove home Baker with a sacrifice fly. Lopes followed with an infield single that drove Monday home for an 8–6 lead. Gossage never got in the game.

Jackson brought the Yankees closer with a home run in the eighth off lefty Steve Howe, capping a 3-for-3 day. But Howe was able to close out the win, despite Willie Randolph pinning Dodger centerfielder Derrell Thomas against the centerfield wall with a deep fly ball. The series was now tied 2–2.

According to Johnstone's book Temporary Insanity (1985), Steinbrenner confronted Davis in the Yankees' locker room after the game and demanded, "Why did you throw Johnstone a fastball?"

Game 5[edit]

Sunday, October 25, 1981 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 0
Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 X 2 4 3
WP: Jerry Reuss (1–1)   LP: Ron Guidry (1–1)
Home runs:
NYY: None
LAD: Pedro Guerrero (1), Steve Yeager (2)

Needing a win to stop the Dodgers' momentum in this series, the Yankees trotted out their ace, Ron Guidry. Guidry was sharp through six innings, holding the Dodgers to two singles. Reggie Jackson, continuing his torrid hitting, helped provide Guidry a lead by doubling to left in the second off Jerry Reuss, moving to third on a Davey Lopes error, and scoring on an Lou Piniella groundout.

The game then took a turn in the seventh inning. After fanning Dusty Baker, Guidry surrendered back-to-back solo home runs to Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager. After he had struck out, Baker suggested to Yeager and Guerrero that they move up in the batter's box to take away Guidry's late breaking slider. Both home runs were hit on sliders almost to the same place in left-center. Meanwhile, Reuss was as effective as Guidry, holding the Yanks to five hits and the lone run and going the distance.

A tense moment occurred in the eighth when Goose Gossage beaned Ron Cey. Cey had to be carried off the field with a concussion, but was cleared to play Game 6 after it was delayed one day by rain.

Game 6[edit]

Wednesday, October 28, 1981 at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles 0 0 0 1 3 4 0 1 0 9 13 1
New York 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 7 2
WP: Burt Hooton (1–1)   LP: George Frazier (0–3)   Sv: Steve Howe (1)
Home runs:
LAD: Pedro Guerrero (2)
NYY: Willie Randolph (2)

Originally scheduled for Tuesday, October 27, Game 6 was delayed a day by rain. This allowed Bob Lemon to start Tommy John opposite Dodger starter Burt Hooton. This also allowed Ron Cey to be in the Dodger lineup. Willie Randolph provided John an early lead with a solo homer in the third. The Dodgers tied it in the fourth on an RBI single by Game 5 hero Steve Yeager.

In the bottom of the fourth, Yankee manager Bob Lemon made possibly his most controversial decision of the series. Graig Nettles led off the inning with a double. After Hooton retired the next two batters, he intentionally walked Larry Milbourne to face John (there was no designated hitter in this series). At that moment, Lemon decided on the very unusual strategy to pinch-hit for his starting pitcher in the fourth inning of a 1–1 game. As ABC cameras clearly showed, John could not believe the move and paced up and down the Yankee dugout in disbelief. Pinch hitter Bobby Murcer flied out to end the inning. In his autobiography, "T.J.: My 26 Years in Baseball" (1991), John revealed that before the game, Lemon and team owner George Steinbrenner settled on the following strategy: get the lead early in the game and then protect the lead with the bullpen. John observed that such preconceived strategies are impractical in baseball because of the sport's many unpredictable variables that come into play during a game.

In the fifth, George Frazier, who relieved John, gave up an RBI single to Ron Cey and a two-run triple to Pedro Guerrero. Frazier would take the loss and become the first pitcher to lose three games in a best of seven World Series and second pitcher to lose three games in any World Series (the first being Lefty Williams, a member of the Chicago White Sox team that threw the best of nine 1919 World Series).

The Yankee bullpen further collapsed in the sixth. Ron Davis issued one-out walks to pitcher Hooton and Davey Lopes. Bill Russell singled to short left field, and Hooton unexpectedly rounded third and headed home. Dave Winfield stumbled on the wet grass, fell forward, and uncorked an errant throw that bounced off the dirt part of the infield. Hooton scored standing, and Lemon pulled Davis in favor of Rick Reuschel. On Reuschel's second pitch, Lopes and Russell pulled a double steal. Reuschel walked Steve Garvey intentionally and gave up an RBI force-out to pinch-hitter Derrel Thomas. After Dusty Baker reached on an error by Nettles, loading the bases again, Guerrero singled in two more runs. Guerrero would cap a five-RBI night, and the Dodgers' World Series win, by blasting a solo home run in the eighth.

Winfield's throw typified his struggles in this, his first World Series. At the plate, he went 1-for-22 with one RBI. After the series Steinbrenner issued a public apology to the City of New York for his team's performance, while at the same time assuring the fans that plans to put the team together for 1982 would begin immediately.[8][9] The Yankee owner was criticized heartily by players and press alike for doing so, as most people felt losing in the World Series was not something that needed to be apologized for.[10] In addition, Steinbrenner dubbed Winfield "Mr. May" to contrast him with Reggie "Mr. October" Jackson.

For the first time ever, there were co-MVP's in this World Series. Cey (.350 avg., 7-for-20, HR, 6 RBIs), Yeager (4-for-14, 2 HR's), and Guerrero (.333 avg, 7-for-21, 2 HR's, 7 RBIs) would share the award.

Epilogue[edit]

After combining for ten division titles and eight World Series appearances between 1974 and 1981, the 1981 World Series marked the end of an era for both teams as they lost key contributors over the next few years. The Yankees lost Reggie Jackson, Craig Nettles, Goose Gossage, and Tommy John among others. The Yankees would not reach the post season again until 1995 and would not win another title until 1996.

Key Dodger losses included Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Reggie Smith, and Don Sutton. But with a stronger farm system and adding key players via trade or free agency, they won division titles in 1983 and 1985, while narrowly missing in 1982. Their success culminated with a world championship in 1988, becoming the only team to win two World Series between 1978 and 1990.

With the New York Islanders winning the Stanley Cup in the Spring of 1981, this marked the last time in 13 years that two New York teams competed in a championship series in the same year.

Composite box[edit]

1981 World Series (4–2): Los Angeles Dodgers (N.L.) over New York Yankees (A.L.)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles Dodgers 3 0 2 1 7 7 4 3 0 27 51 9
New York Yankees 5 4 5 1 1 3 0 3 0 22 46 4
Total attendance: 338,081   Average attendance: 56,347
Winning player's share: $38,119   Losing player's share: $28,845[11]

Series batting stats[edit]

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

                                          SERIES STATS                   |      REGULAR SEASON       
 Player              G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO  BA    OBP   SLG  SB |  AB  H  HR  BA     OPS  SB
+-------------------+-+---+--+--+--+--+--+---+--+--+-----+-----+-----+---+----+---+--+-----+-----+---+
 Dusty Baker         6  24  3  4  0  0  0   1  1  6  .167  .192  .167  0 | 400 128  9  .320  .808  10
 Bobby Castillo      1   0  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0                    0 |   9   4  0  .444 1.111   0
 Ron Cey             6  20  3  7  0  0  1   6  3  3  .350  .458  .500  0 | 312  90 13  .288  .846   0
*Terry Forster       2   0  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0                    0 |   2   0  0  .000  .000   0
 Steve Garvey        6  24  3 10  1  0  0   0  2  5  .417  .462  .458  0 | 431 122 10  .283  .732   3
 Dave Goltz          2   0  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0                    0 |  17   1  0  .059  .217   0
 Pedro Guerrero      6  21  2  7  1  1  2   7  2  6  .333  .417  .762  0 | 347 104 12  .300  .829   5
 Burt Hooton         2   4  1  0  0  0  0   0  1  3  .000  .200  .000  0 |  42   8  0  .190  .523   0
*Steve Howe          3   2  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  2  .000  .000  .000  0 |   1   0  0  .000  .500   0
*Jay Johnstone       3   3  1  2  0  0  1   3  0  0  .667  .667  1.66  0 |  83  17  3  .205  .616   0
*Ken Landreaux       5   6  1  1  1  0  0   0  0  2  .167  .167  .333  1 | 390  98  7  .251  .664  18
 Davey Lopes         6  22  6  5  1  0  0   2  4  3  .227  .346  .273  4 | 214  44  5  .206  .574  20
*Rick Monday         5  13  1  3  1  0  0   0  3  6  .231  .375  .308  0 | 130  41 11  .315 1.031   1
 Tom Niedenfuer      2   0  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0                    0 |   0   0  0               0
*Jerry Reuss         2   3  0  0  0  0  0   0  1  2  .000  .250  .000  0 |  51  10  0  .196  .392   0
 Bill Russell        6  25  1  6  0  0  0   2  0  1  .240  .240  .240  1 | 262  61  0  .233  .567   2
 Steve Sax           2   1  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  .000  .000  .000  0 | 119  33  2  .277  .662   5
*Mike Scioscia       3   4  1  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  .250  .400  .250  0 | 290  80  2  .276  .685   0
#Reggie Smith        2   2  0  1  0  0  0   0  0  1  .500  .500  .500  0 |  35   7  1  .200  .632   0
 Dave Stewart        2   0  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0                    0 |   5   2  0  .400 1.300   0
#Derrel Thomas       5   7  2  0  0  0  0   1  1  2  .000  .125  .000  0 | 218  54  4  .248  .644   7
*Fernando Valenzuela 1   3  0  0  0  0  0   0  1  0  .000  .250  .000  0 |  64  16  0  .250  .543   0
 Bob Welch           1   0  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0                    0 |  45  10  0  .222  .506   0
 Steve Yeager        6  14  2  4  1  0  2   4  0  2  .286  .267  .786  0 |  86  18  3  .209  .598   0
+-------------------+-+---+--+--+--+--+--+---+--+--+-----+-----+-----+---+----+---+--+-----+-----+---+
 Total               6 198 27 51  6  1  6  26 20 44  .258  .329  .389  6 |         82  .262  .696  73
 
   * - bats left-handed, # - switch hits, ? - unknown, else - bats right-handed
   A + before season totals indicates the player was with multiple teams this year.

New York Yankees[edit]

                                          SERIES STATS                   |      REGULAR SEASON       
 Player              G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO  BA    OBP   SLG  SB |  AB  H  HR  BA     OPS  SB
+-------------------+-+---+--+--+--+--+--+---+--+--+-----+-----+-----+---+----+---+--+-----+-----+---+
#Bobby Brown         4   1  1  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  .000  .000  .000  0 |  62  14  0  .226  .521   4
 Rick Cerone         6  21  2  4  1  0  1   3  4  2  .190  .320  .381  0 | 234  57  2  .244  .618   0
 Ron Davis           4   0  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0                    0 |   0   0  0               0
 Barry Foote         1   1  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  .000  .000  .000  0 |+147  26  6  .177  .559   0
 George Frazier      3   2  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  .000  .000  .000  0 |   0   0  0               0
*Oscar Gamble        3   6  1  2  0  0  0   1  1  0  .333  .429  .333  0 | 189  45 10  .238  .796   0
 Rich Gossage        3   1  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  .000  .000  .000  0 |   0   0  0               0
*Ron Guidry          2   5  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  3  .000  .000  .000  0 |   0   0  0               0
*Reggie Jackson      3  12  3  4  1  0  1   1  2  3  .333  .429  .667  0 | 334  79 15  .237  .758   0
 Tommy John          3   2  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  .000  .000  .000  0 |   0   0  0               0
*Dave LaRoche        1   0  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0                    0 |   0   0  0               0
*Rudy May            3   1  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  .000  .000  .000  0 |   0   0  0               0
#Larry Milbourne     6  20  2  5  2  0  0   3  4  0  .250  .375  .350  0 | 163  51  1  .313  .749   2
#Jerry Mumphrey      5  15  2  3  0  0  0   0  3  2  .200  .333  .200  1 | 319  98  6  .307  .783  14
*Bobby Murcer        4   3  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  .000  .000  .000  0 | 117  31  6  .265  .801   0
*Graig Nettles       3  10  1  4  1  0  0   0  1  1  .400  .455  .500  0 | 349  85 15  .244  .731   0
 Lou Piniella        6  16  2  7  1  0  0   3  0  1  .438  .438  .500  1 | 159  44  5  .277  .759   0
 Willie Randolph     6  18  5  4  1  1  2   3  9  0  .222  .464  .722  1 | 357  83  2  .232  .641  14
 Rick Reuschel       2   2  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  .000  .000  .000  0 |+ 25   2  0  .080  .195   0
*Dave Righetti       1   1  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  .000  .000  .000  0 |   0   0  0               0
 Andre Robertson     1   0  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0                    0 |  19   5  0  .263  .579   1
 Aurelio Rodriguez   4  12  1  5  0  0  0   0  1  2  .417  .462  .417  0 |  52  18  2  .346  .870   0
 Bob Watson          6  22  2  7  1  0  2   7  3  0  .318  .385  .636  0 | 156  33  6  .212  .701   0
 Dave Winfield       6  22  0  1  0  0  0   1  5  4  .045  .222  .045  1 | 388 114 13  .294  .824  11
+-------------------+-+---+--+--+--+--+--+---+--+--+-----+-----+-----+---+----+---+--+-----+-----+---+
 Total               6 193 22 46  8  1  6  22 33 24  .238  .346  .383  4 |        100  .252  .718  47
 
   * - bats left-handed, # - switch hits, ? - unknown, else - bats right-handed
   A + before season totals indicates the player was with multiple teams this year.

Series pitching stats[edit]

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

                        SERIES STATS                     |     REGULAR SEASON           
 Player              G  ERA   W-L SV CG  IP   H ER BB SO |  W-L   IP  ERA   WHIP  SO SV 
+-------------------+-+------+---+--+--+----+--+--+--+---+------+---+-----+-----+---+--+
*Jerry Reuss         2   3.86 1-1  0  1 11.7 10  5  3  8 | 10-4  153  2.30  1.08  51   
 Burt Hooton         2   1.59 1-1  0  0 11.3  8  2  9  3 | 11-6  142  2.28  1.10  74   
*Fernando Valenzuela 1   4.00 1-0  0  1  9.0  9  4  7  6 | 13-7  192  2.48  1.05 180   
*Steve Howe          3   3.86 1-0  1  0  7.0  7  3  1  4 |  5-3   54  2.50  1.28  32  8
 Tom Niedenfuer      2   0.00 0-0  0  0  5.0  3  0  1  0 |  3-1   26  3.81  1.19  12  2
 Dave Goltz          2   5.40 0-0  0  0  3.3  4  2  1  2 |  2-7   77  4.09  1.40  48  1
*Terry Forster       2   0.00 0-0  0  0  2.0  1  0  3  0 |  0-1   31  4.11  1.70  17   
 Dave Stewart        2   0.00 0-0  0  0  1.7  1  0  2  1 |  4-3   43  2.49  1.25  29  6
 Bobby Castillo      1   9.00 0-0  0  0  1.0  0  1  5  0 |  2-4   51  5.33  1.46  35  5
 Bob Welch           1    inf 0-0  0  0  0.0  3  2  1  0 |  9-5  141  3.44  1.29  88   
+-------------------+-+------+---+--+--+----+--+--+--+---+------+---+-----+-----+---+--+
 Total                   3.29 4-2  1  2 52.0 46 19 33 24 |            3.01 1.210   
 
   * - throws left-handed, ? - unknown, else - throws right-handed
   A + before season totals indicates the player was with multiple teams this year.

New York Yankees[edit]

                        SERIES STATS                     |     REGULAR SEASON           
 Player              G  ERA   W-L SV CG  IP   H ER BB SO |  W-L   IP  ERA   WHIP  SO SV 
+-------------------+-+------+---+--+--+----+--+--+--+---+------+---+-----+-----+---+--+
*Ron Guidry          2   1.93 1-1  0  0 14.0  8  3  4 15 | 11-5  127  2.76  0.99 104   
*Tommy John          3   0.69 1-0  0  0 13.0 11  1  0  8 |  9-8  140  2.63  1.24  50   
*Rudy May            3   2.84 0-0  0  0  6.3  5  2  1  5 |  6-11 148  4.14  1.21  79  1
 Goose Gossage       3   0.00 0-0  2  0  5.0  2  0  2  5 |  3-2   47  0.77  0.77  48 20
 Rick Reuschel       2   4.91 0-0  0  0  3.7  7  2  3  2 |+ 8-11 156  3.11  1.25  75   
 George Frazier      3  17.18 0-3  0  0  3.7  9  7  3  2 |  0-1   28  1.63  1.34  17  3
 Ron Davis           4  23.14 0-0  0  0  2.3  4  6  5  4 |  4-5   73  2.71  0.99  83  6
*Dave Righetti       1  13.50 0-0  0  0  2.0  5  3  2  1 |  8-4  105  2.05  1.07  89   
*Dave LaRoche        1   0.00 0-0  0  0  1.0  0  0  0  2 |  4-1   47  2.49  1.15  24   
+-------------------+-+------+---+--+--+----+--+--+--+---+------+---+-----+-----+---+--+
 Total                   4.24 2-4  2  0 51.0 51 24 20 44 |            2.90 1.180   
 
   * - throws left-handed, ? - unknown, else - throws right-handed
   A + before season totals indicates the player was with multiple teams this year.

Yankees pitcher George Frazier tied a World Series record for losing three of the six games in 1981. The only other pitcher to lose that many was the Chicago White Sox's Lefty Williams, who intentionally lost his three starts in the infamous 1919 World Series.

Broadcasting[edit]

ABC covered this World Series on television, its third under the then-present contract of alternating Series coverage with NBC. Keith Jackson and Al Michaels shared play-by-play duties, with Michaels replacing Jackson when the latter deferred to his primary role as ABC's lead college football announcer. Color commentary was handled by Howard Cosell and Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer; Palmer would later join ABC's baseball broadcast team after retiring as a player.

On radio, CBS Radio carried the games with Vin Scully handling play-by-play and Detroit Tigers manager Sparky Anderson providing analysis, working together for the third consecutive year. Scully was the Dodgers' primary local announcer during the regular season.

In popular culture[edit]

Referenced in Dungeons & Dragons when one character asked a supposedly all-knowing tree, "Who won the 1981 World Series," to which the tree replied, "The Graywood Elves. However, if you are referring to the World Series in your world, it was the Dodgers over the Yankees, four games to two."

After the series, Johnstone, Yeager, Reuss, and Rick Monday of the Dodgers recorded a cover version of Queen's "We Are the Champions". The quartet performed the song on an episode of Solid Gold, the syndicated TV-show.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "1981 World Series Game 1 - Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Yankees". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  2. ^ "1981 World Series Game 2 - Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Yankees". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  3. ^ "1981 World Series Game 3 - New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  4. ^ "1981 World Series Game 4 - New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  5. ^ "1981 World Series Game 5 - New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  6. ^ "1981 World Series Game 6 - Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Yankees". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  7. ^ http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1124928/index.htm
  8. ^ Associated Press (October 29, 1981). "Steinbrenner Makes an Apology to the Fans for How Yankees Played". Los Angeles Times. p. G1. 
  9. ^ Gross, Jane (October 29, 1981). "Steinbrenner Issues an Apology to Fans". New York Times. p. B13. 
  10. ^ Anderson, Dave (October 26, 2003). "Yanks Are Now 0-4 on the Brink at the Stadium". New York Times. p. 8.4. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  11. ^ "World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares". Baseball Almanac. Archived from the original on May 2, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 

References[edit]

  • Neft, David S.; Richard M. Cohen (1990). The World Series. 1st ed. New York: St Martins. 
  • Reichler, Joseph (1982). The Baseball Encyclopedia (5th ed.). MacMillian Publishing. p. 2219. ISBN 0-02-579010-2. 
  • Forman, Sean L. "1981 World Series". Baseball-Reference.com - Major League Statistics and Information. Archived from the original on November 30, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2007. 

External links[edit]