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1981 in baseball

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This year in baseball

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See also
Sources

The following are the baseball events of the year 1981 throughout the world.  


Champions

Major League Baseball

Other champions

Awards and honors

MLB Statistical Leaders

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Carney Lansford .336 Bill Madlock .341
HR Tony Armas, Dwight Evans, Bobby Grich & Eddie Murray 22 Mike Schmidt 31
RBI Eddie Murray 78 Mike Schmidt 91
Wins Dennis Martinez, Steve McCatty, Jack Morris & Pete Vuckovich 14 Tom Seaver 14
ERA Sammy Stewart 2.32 Nolan Ryan 1.69

Major League Baseball final standings

First half of season

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win % GB
East Division
1st New York Yankees 34 22 .607    --
2nd Baltimore Orioles 31 23 .574    --
3rd Milwaukee Brewers 31 25 .568    --
4th Detroit Tigers 31 26 .544    --
5th Boston Red Sox 30 26 .536    --
6th Cleveland Indians 26 24 .520    --
7th Toronto Blue Jays 16 42 .276    --
West Division
1st Oakland Athletics 37 23 .617    --
2nd Texas Rangers 33 22 .600    --
3rd Chicago White Sox 31 22 .585    --
4th California Angels 31 29 .444    --
5th Kansas City Royals 20 30 .400    --
6th Seattle Mariners 21 36 .368    --
7th Minnesota Twins 17 39 .556    --
National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st Philadelphia Phillies 34 21 .618    --
2nd St. Louis Cardinals 30 20 .600    --
3rd Montréal Expos 30 25 .545    --
4th Pittsburgh Pirates 25 23 .521    --
5th New York Mets 17 34 .333    --
6th Chicago Cubs 15 37 .288    --
West Division
1st Los Angeles Dodgers 36 21 .632    --
2nd Cincinnati Reds 35 21 .625    --
3rd Houston Astros 28 29 .491    --
4th Atlanta Braves 25 29 .463    --
5th San Francisco Giants 27 32 .458    --
6th San Diego Padres 23 33 .411    --

 

Second half of season

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win % GB
East Division
1st Milwaukee Brewers 31 22 .585    --
2nd Boston Red Sox 29 23 .558    --
2nd Detroit Tigers 29 23 .558    --
4th Baltimore Orioles 28 23 .549    --
5th Cleveland Indians 26 27 .491    --
6th New York Yankees 25 26 .490    --
7th Toronto Blue Jays 21 27 .438    --
West Division
1st Kansas City Royals 30 23 .566    --
2nd Oakland Athletics 27 22 .551    --
3rd Texas Rangers 24 26 .480    --
4th Minnesota Twins 24 29 .453    --
5th Seattle Mariners 23 29 .442    --
6th Chicago White Sox 23 30 .434    --
7th California Angels 20 30 .400    --
National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st Montréal Expos 30 23 .566    --
2nd St. Louis Cardinals 29 23 .558    --
3rd Philadelphia Phillies 25 27 .481    --
4th New York Mets 24 28 .462    --
5th Chicago Cubs 23 28 .451    --
6th Pittsburgh Pirates 21 33 .389    --
West Division
1st Houston Astros 33 20 .623    --
2nd Cincinnati Reds 31 21 .596    --
3rd San Francisco Giants 29 23 .558    --
4th Los Angeles Dodgers 27 26 .509    --
5th Atlanta Braves 25 27 .481    --
6th San Diego Padres 18 36 .333    --

 

Overall record

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win % GB
East Division
1st Milwaukee Brewers 62 47 .569    --
2nd Baltimore Orioles 59 46 .562   1.0
3rd New York Yankees 59 48 .551   2.0
4th Detroit Tigers 60 49 .550   2.0
5th Boston Red Sox 59 49 .546   2.5
6th Cleveland Indians 52 51 .505   7.0
7th Toronto Blue Jays 37 69 .349 23.5
West Division
1st Oakland Athletics 64 45 .587    --
2nd Texas Rangers 57 48 .543   5.0
3rd Chicago White Sox 54 52 .509   8.5
4th Kansas City Royals 50 53 .485 11.0
5th California Angels 51 59 .464 13.5
6th Seattle Mariners 44 65 .404 20.0
7th Minnesota Twins 41 68 .376 23.0
National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st St. Louis Cardinals 59 43 .578    --
2nd Montréal Expos 60 48 .556   2.0
3rd Philadelphia Phillies 59 48 .551   2.5
4th Pittsburgh Pirates 46 56 .451 13.0
5th New York Mets 41 62 .398 18.5
6th Chicago Cubs 38 65 .369 21.5
West Division
1st Cincinnati Reds 66 42 .611    --
2nd Los Angeles Dodgers 63 47 .573   4.0
3rd Houston Astros 61 49 .555   6.0
4th San Francisco Giants 56 55 .505 11.5
5th Atlanta Braves 50 56 .472 15.0
6th San Diego Padres 41 69 .373 26.0

Events

January-March

  • March 11 - Johnny Mize and Rube Foster are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee. Mize hit .312 with 359 home runs in 15 seasons for the Cardinals and New York Giants, while Foster was a star pitcher, manager and pioneer of the Negro Leagues during the first quarter of the 20th century.

April-June

  • June 12 - After meeting with major league owners for most of the previous day, players' union chief Marvin Miller announces, "We have accomplished nothing. The strike is on," thus beginning the longest labor action to date in American sports history. By the time the season resumes on August 10, 706 games (38 percent of the season schedule) will have been canceled.

July-September

October-December

  • October 3 - Bob Horner hits two home runs and scores the winning run to give the Atlanta Braves a 4–3 win over the Cincinnati Reds, and give the Houston Astros the second-half title in the NL West division. Cincinnati, which lost the first-half title to the Dodgers by one-half game, will finish with the best overall record (66-42) in the major leagues, but will not make the playoffs.
  • October 3 - The Milwaukee Brewers (playing since 1970) and Montréal Expos (since 1969) clinch their first-ever postseason appearances. Milwaukee beats Detroit 2–1 to wrap up the second-half title in the AL East division, while Montréal edges the Mets 5–4 to win the NL West division's second playoff spot.
  • October 5 - The Kansas City Royals shut out Cleveland 9–0 in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader to clinch the second-half title in the AL West division. The second game is canceled as irrelevant.

Movies

Births

Deaths

  • January 26 - Ray Oyler, 42, shortstop known for excellent glovework with the Detroit Tigers' 1968 champions, afterwards taken in the expansion draft by the Seattle Pilots
  • March 10 - Bob Elson, 76, broadcaster for the Chicago White Sox from 1931 to 1970; also worked with the Cubs and Oakland Athletics
  • March 17 - Paul Dean, 67, pitcher who joined his older brother Dizzy on the St. Louis Cardinals, winning 19 games in each of his first two seasons; the brothers each won two games in the 1934 World Series
  • March 19 - Frank Lane, 85, general manager of the White Sox, Indians, Brewers and Cardinals known for his numerous trades
  • April 16 - Effa Manley, 84, owner of the Negro Leagues' Newark Eagles from 1935 to 1948
  • July 1 - Dan Daniel, 91, sportswriter for The Sporting News and various New York newspapers for over 50 years; also a member of baseball's Rules Committee
  • August 9 - Sammy T. Hughes, 70, 6-time All-Star second baseman of the Negro Leagues, mainly with the Elite Giants
  • October 4 - Freddie Lindstrom, 75, Hall of Fame third baseman for the New York Giants who batted .311 lifetime, twice collecting 230 hits and batting .333 in the 1924 World Series at age 18; later coach at Northwestern
  • October 25 - Pete Reiser, 62, All-Star center fielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers who led the NL in batting and four other categories in 1941 and in steals twice, but whose fearless defensive style led to numerous injuries
  • December 10 - John F. Kieran, 89, New York sportswriter and radio and television personality who authored books on numerous subjects

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