1981 Detroit Tigers season

The 1981 Detroit Tigers finished in fourth place in the American League East with a record of 31-26 (.544) in the first half of the season, and in third place with a record of 29-23 (.558) in the second half, for an overall record of 60-49. They outscored their opponents 427 to 404. The Tigers drew 1,149,144 fans to Tiger Stadium in 1981, ranking 5th of the 14 teams in the American League.

1981 Detroit Tigers
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s)John Fetzer
General manager(s)Jim Campbell
Manager(s)Sparky Anderson
Local televisionWDIV-TV
(George Kell, Al Kaline)
ONTV
(Larry Adderley, Hank Aguirre, Norm Cash)
Local radioWJR
(Ernie Harwell, Paul Carey)
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Offseason

Regular season

Season standings

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Milwaukee Brewers 62 47 0.569 28–21 34–26
Baltimore Orioles 59 46 0.562 1 33–22 26–24
New York Yankees 59 48 0.551 2 32–19 27–29
Detroit Tigers 60 49 0.550 2 32–23 28–26
Boston Red Sox 59 49 0.546 30–23 29–26
Cleveland Indians 52 51 0.505 7 25–29 27–22
Toronto Blue Jays 37 69 0.349 23½ 17–36 20–33
AL East
First Half Standings
W L Pct.
New York Yankees 34 22 .607
Baltimore Orioles 31 23 .574
Milwaukee Brewers 31 25 .554
Detroit Tigers 31 26 .544
Boston Red Sox 30 26 .536
Cleveland Indians 26 24 .520
Toronto Blue Jays 16 42 .276
AL East
Second Half Standings
W L Pct.
Milwaukee Brewers 31 22 .585
Boston Red Sox 29 23 .558
Detroit Tigers 29 23 .558
Baltimore Orioles 28 23 .549
Cleveland Indians 26 27 .491
New York Yankees 25 26 .490
Toronto Blue Jays 21 27 .438

Record vs. opponents

1981 American League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
Team BAL BOS CAL CWS CLE DET KC MIL MIN NYY OAK SEA TEX TOR
Baltimore 2–2 6–6 3–6 4–2 6–7 5–3 2–4 6–0 7–6 7–5 4–2 2–1 5–2
Boston 2–2 2–4 5–4 7–6 6–1 3–3 6–7 2–5 3–3 7–5 9–3 3–6 4–0
California 6–6 4–2 6–7 7–5 3–3 0–6 4–3 3–3 2–2 2–8 6–4 2–4 6–6
Chicago 6–3 4–5 7–6 2–5 3–3 2–0 4–1 2–4 5–7 7–6 3–3 2–4 7–5
Cleveland 2–4 6–7 5–7 5–2 1–5 4–4 3–6 2–1 7–5 3–2 8–4 2–2 4–2
Detroit 7–6 1–6 3–3 3–3 5–1 3–2 5–8 9–3 3–7 1–2 5–1 9–3 6–4
Kansas City 3–5 3–3 6–0 0–2 4–4 2–3 4–5 9–4 2–10 3–3 6–7 3–4 5–3
Milwaukee 4–2 7–6 3–4 1–4 6–3 8–5 5–4 9–3 3–3 4–2 2–2 4–5 6–4
Minnesota 0–6 5–2 3–3 4–2 1–2 3–9 4–9 3–9 3–3 2–8 3–6–1 5–8 5–1
New York 6–7 3–3 2–2 7–5 5–7 7–3 10–2 3–3 3–3 4–3 2–3 5–4 2–3
Oakland 5–7 5–7 8–2 6–7 2–3 2–1 3–3 2–4 8–2 3–4 6–1 4–2 10–2
Seattle 2–4 3–9 4–6 3–3 4–8 1–5 7–6 2–2 6–3–1 3–2 1–6 5–8 3–3
Texas 1–2 6–3 4–2 4–2 2–2 3–9 4–3 5–4 8–5 4–5 2–4 8–5 6–2
Toronto 2–5 0–4 6–6 5–7 2–4 4–6 3–5 4–6 1–5 3–2 2–10 3–3 2–6

Notable transactions

Roster

1981 Detroit Tigers roster
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Lance Parrish 96 348 85 .244 10 46
1B Richie Hebner 78 226 51 .226 5 28
2B Lou Whitaker 109 335 88 .263 5 36
3B Tom Brookens 71 239 58 .243 4 25
SS Alan Trammell 105 392 101 .258 2 31
LF Steve Kemp 105 372 103 .277 9 49
CF Al Cowens 85 253 66 .261 1 18
RF Kirk Gibson 83 290 95 .328 9 40
DH John Wockenfuss 70 172 37 .215 9 25

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Rick Peters 63 207 53 .256 0 15
Lynn Jones 71 174 45 .259 2 19
Champ Summers 64 165 42 .255 3 21
Ron Jackson 31 95 27 .284 1 12
Stan Papi 40 93 19 .204 3 12
Rick Leach 54 83 16 .193 1 11
Mick Kelleher 61 77 17 .221 0 6
Darrell Brown 16 4 1 .250 0 0
Duffy Dyer 2 0 0 ---- 0 0

Note: pitchers' batting statistics not included

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Jack Morris 25 198 14 7 3.05 97
Milt Wilcox 24 166.1 12 9 3.03 79
Dan Petry 23 141 10 9 3.00 79
Dan Schatzeder 17 71.1 6 8 6.06 20
Jerry Ujdur 4 14 0 0 6.43 5

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Dave Rozema 28 104 5 5 3.63 46
Howard Bailey 9 36.2 1 4 7.36 17
George Cappuzzello 18 33.2 1 1 3.48 19

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W= Wins; L= Losses; SV = Saves; GF = Games finished; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV GF ERA SO
Kevin Saucier 38 4 2 13 23 1.65 23
Dave Tobik 27 2 2 1 9 2.69 32
Aurelio López 29 5 2 3 19 3.64 53
Dennis Kinney 6 0 0 0 0 9.82 3

Awards and honors

1981 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

League top ten finishers

Kirk Gibson

  • #3 in AL in batting average (.328)
  • #4 in AL in Power/Speed Number (11.8)

Steve Kemp

  • #4 in AL in on-base percentage (.389)
  • #3 in AL in bases on balls (70)
  • #3 in AL in times on base (174)

Jack Morris

  • MLB leader in wins (14) (tied with four others)
  • MLB leader in bases on balls allowed (78)
  • #2 in MLB in innings pitched (198)
  • #2 in MLB in games started (25)
  • #3 in AL in hits allowed per 9 innings pitched (6.95)
  • #3 in MLB in complete games (15)
  • #3 in MLB in batters faced (798)
  • #6 in AL in home runs allowed (14)
  • #9 in AL in earned runs allowed (67)

Lance Parrish

  • #3 in AL in times grounded into double plays (16)

Kevin Saucier

  • #5 in AL in saves (13)

Alan Trammell

  • AL leader in sacrifice hits (16)

Lou Whitaker

  • AL leader in games played (109)
  • AL leader in games at second base (108)
  • AL leader in innings at second base (918-1/3)
  • AL leader in assists by a second baseman (354)

Milt Wilcox

  • #5 in AL in games started (24)
  • #5 in AL in hit batsmen (6)

Players ranking among top 100 all time at position

The following members of the 1981 Detroit Tigers are among the Top 100 of all time at their position, as ranked by The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract:

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Evansville Triplets American Association Jim Leyland
AA Birmingham Barons Southern League Roy Majtyka
A Lakeland Tigers Florida State League Ted Brazell
A Macon Peaches South Atlantic League Tom Kotchman
Rookie Bristol Tigers Appalachian League Joe Lewis

Notes

  1. ^ Dennis Kinney at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ Mike Sharperson at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ Jim Lentine at Baseball Reference
  4. ^ Chris Codiroli at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ Chuck Hensley at Baseball Reference
  6. ^ Ron Jackson at Baseball Reference

References

  • Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles, eds. (1997). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (2nd ed.). Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America. ISBN 978-0-9637189-8-3.
  • 1981 Detroit Tigers Regular Season Statistics
1981 in Michigan

Events from the year 1981 in Michigan.

The Associated Press (AP) selected the state's top sports stories as follows:

The first championship boxing match between Thomas Hearns boxing match with Sugar Ray Leonard on September 16 and billed as "The Showdown";

Eric Hipple's taking over as the Detroit Lions' quarterback after an injury to Gary Danielson;

Michigan's victory over Washington in the 1981 Rose Bowl;

The Detroit Pistons' selection of Isiah Thomas and Kelly Tripucka with the second and twelfth picks in the first round of the 1981 NBA draft;

The Detroit Tigers' November 27 trade of Steve Kemp to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Chet Lemon;

The development of Kirk Gibson as a Major League Baseball player, compiling a .328 batting average for the Detroit Tigers;

The death of University of Michigan football broadcaster Bob Ufer;

The inaugural Michigan 500 automobile race at the Michigan International Speedway;

The Detroit Red Wings' December 2 trade of Dale McCourt, Mike Foligno, and Brent Peterson to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Danny Gare, Jim Schoenfeld, and Derek Smith; and

The induction of Ernie Harwell into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

AL East
AL West
NL East
NL West
Franchise
Ballparks
Culture
Lore
Important figures
Minor league affiliates
Key personnel
World Series
championships (4)
American League pennants (11)
Division titles (7)
Wild card berths (1)
Broadcasters

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