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.
The Dodgers are the last team to win a World Series after losing the first two games on the road.
The Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League West division (first half) over the Cincinnati Reds then defeated the Houston Astros, three games to two, in the National League Divisional Series then defeated the Montreal Expos, three games to two, in the National League Championship Series. The New York Yankees won the American League East division over the Baltimore Orioles (first half) then defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, three games to two, in the American League Divisional Series, then defeated the Oakland Athletics, three games to none, in the American League Championship Series.
Baseball was marred this summer by a two month player's strike starting at 12:30 a.m. on June 12 finally resuming play on August 10. In total seven hundred and six games were scrapped, about 38% of the schedule. A make-shift playoffs were agreed upon by the owners pitting the first and second half winners leaving the team with the best overall record, the Cincinnati Reds (66–42), out of the postseason.
The series is sometimes called "The World Series that Never Was." This refers to the fact that the team with the best overall record (as previously mentioned), the Cincinnati Reds did not make the playoffs due to a modified playoff schedule established by the Commissioner Bowie Kuhn due to a midseason strike. In the NL East, the St. Louis Cardinals had the best overall record, but failed to make the playoffs after finishing second in each half.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers got to the Series with help from rookie phenom, Fernando Valenzuela, whose wicked screwball won him his first eig...