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1981 World Series

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Template:World Series Rating

The 1981 World Series matched the New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers, marking their third meeting in the Series in five years. The Dodgers won the Series in six games for their first title since 1965, and their first victory over the Yankees since 1963.

Managers: Bob Lemon (New York), Tommy Lasorda (Los Angeles)

Umpires: Larry Barnett (AL), Doug Harvey (NL), Rich Garcia (AL), Nick Colosi (NL), Terry Cooney (AL), Dick Stello (NL)

Series MVP: Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero, and Steve Yeager (Los Angeles)

Television: ABC (Keith Jackson, Al Michaels, Howard Cosell, and Jim Palmer announcing)

Getting There

Game 1

October 20, 1981 at Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees)

                                 1  2  3    4  5  6    7  8  9     R  H  E
                                 -  -  -    -  -  -    -  -  -     -  -  -
    Los Angeles Dodgers          0  0  0    0  1  0    0  2  0     3  5  0
    New York Yankees             3  0  1    1  0  0    0  0  X     5  6  0

    PITCHERS: LAD - Reuss, Castillo (3), Goltz (4), Niedenfuer (5), Stewart (8)
              NYY - Guidry, Davis (8), Gossage (8)

               WP - Guidry
 	      LP - Reuss
             SAVE - Gossage

   HOME RUNS: LAD - Yeager
              NYY - Watson

  ATTENDANCE: 56,470

Game 2

October 21, 1981 at Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees)

                                 1  2  3    4  5  6    7  8  9     R  H  E
                                 -  -  -    -  -  -    -  -  -     -  -  -
    Los Angeles Dodgers          0  0  0    0  0  0    0  0  0     0  4  2
    New York Yankees             0  0  0    0  1  0    0  2  X     3  6  1

    PITCHERS: LAD - Hooton, Forster (7), Howe (8), Stewart (8)
              NYY - John, Gossage (8)

               WP - John
	       LP - Hooton
             SAVE - Gossage

   HOME RUNS: LAD - none
              NYY - none

  ATTENDANCE: 56,505

Game 3

October 23, 1981 at Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers)

                                 1  2  3    4  5  6    7  8  9     R  H  E
                                 -  -  -    -  -  -    -  -  -     -  -  -
    New York Yankees             0  2  2    0  0  0    0  0  0     4  9  0
    Los Angeles Dodgers          3  0  0    0  2  0    0  0  X     5 11  1

    PITCHERS: NYY - Righetti, Frazier (3),May (5), Davis (8)
              LAD - Valenzuela

               WP - Valenzuela
	       LP - Frazier
             SAVE - none

   HOME RUNS: NYY - Watson, Cerone
              LAD - Cey

  ATTENDANCE: 56,236

mlb.com coverage of Game 3

Game 4

October 24, 1981 at Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers)

                                 1  2  3    4  5  6    7  8  9     R  H  E
                                 -  -  -    -  -  -    -  -  -     -  -  -
    New York Yankees             2  1  1    0  0  2    0  1  0     7 13  1
    Los Angeles Dodgers          0  0  2    0  1  3    2  0  X     8 14  2

    PITCHERS: NYY - Reuschel, May (4), Davis (5), Frazier (6), John (7)
              LAD - Welch, Goltz (1), Forster (4), Niedenfuer (5), Howe (7)

               WP - Howe
	       LP - Frazier
             SAVE - none

   HOME RUNS: NYY - Randolph, Jackson
              LAD - Johnstone

  ATTENDANCE: 56,242

Game 5

October 25, 1981 at Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers)

                                 1  2  3    4  5  6    7  8  9     R  H  E
                                 -  -  -    -  -  -    -  -  -     -  -  -
    New York Yankees             0  1  0    0  0  0    0  0  0     1  5  0
    Los Angeles Dodgers          0  0  0    0  0  0    2  0  X     2  4  3

    PITCHERS: NYY - Guidry, Gossage (8)
              LAD - Reuss

               WP - Reuss
	       LP - Guidry
             SAVE - none

   HOME RUNS: NYY - none
              LAD - Guerrero, Yeager

  ATTENDANCE: 56,115

Game 6

October 28, 1981 at Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees)

                                 1  2  3    4  5  6    7  8  9     R  H  E
                                 -  -  -    -  -  -    -  -  -     -  -  -
    Los Angeles Dodgers          0  0  0    1  3  4    0  1  0     9 13  1
    New York Yankees             0  0  1    0  0  1    0  0  0     2  7  2

    PITCHERS: LAD - Hooton, Howe (6)
              NYY - John, Frazier (5), Davis (6), Reuschel (6), May (7), LaRoche (9)

               WP - Hooton
	       LP - Frazier
             SAVE - Howe

   HOME RUNS: LAD - Guerrero
              NYY - Randolph

  ATTENDANCE: 56,513

Series Batting Stats

Los Angeles Dodgers

                                          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

                                          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

Los Angeles Dodgers

                        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

                        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
 Rich 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.

Trivia

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers were the first National League team in World Series history to lose the first two games, then sweep their opponent during the next four contests. Ironically, the New York Yankees accomplished the same feat in their next World Series appearance 15 years later.
  • The 1981 World Series Most Valuable Player Award was the first in World Series history to be awarded to more than one player. It was split between Ron Cey (who went seven-for-twenty, hit .350, and drove in six runs), Pedro Guerrero (who went seven-for-twenty-one, hit .333, hit two home runs, and drove in seven runs), and catcher Steve Yeager (who went four-for-fourteen, hit .286, hit two home runs, and appeared behind the plate in all six games). More than one player winning the MVP Award in a single World Series wouldn't happen again until 20 years later when Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks did it against the New York Yankees.
  • Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who allgededly got into a fistfight with unknown assailants in a Los Angeles elevator during the 1981 World Series, was so frustrated with star outfielder Dave Winfield's performance (having just one hit in 22 at-bats) during the entire World Series, that he went on to dub Winfeld the dubious title of Mr. May. Winfield would ultimately have the last laugh as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays when he knocked in the World Series clinching run in Game 6 of the 1992 World Series against the Atlanta Braves.
  • 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.
  • World Series adversaries Graig Nettles (of the Yankees) and Steve Garvey (of the Dodgers) would go on to lead the San Diego Padres to their first ever National League pennant in 1984.

External links


Major League Baseball World Series

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