The 1981 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 52nd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on August 9, 1981, at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, the home of the Cleveland Indians of the American League.
This was one of only two All-Star Games to be played outside the month of July (the other being the second 1959 game). The game was originally to be played on July 14, but was cancelled due to the players' strike lasting from June 12 to July 31. It was then brought back as a prelude to the second half of the season, which began the following day. At 72,086 people in attendance, it broke the stadium's own record of 69,751 set in 1954, setting the still-standing record for the highest attendance in an All Star Game.
Cleveland Stadium set a new All-Star Game record by hosting its fourth (and ultimately, final) Midsummer Classic. By the time Indians played host to the All-Star Game for the fifth time in 1997, they had moved to Jacobs Field.
|1981 Major League Baseball All-Star Game|
|Date||August 9, 1981|
|MVP||Gary Carter (MON)|
|Ceremonial first pitch||George H. W. Bush|
|TV announcers||Joe Garagiola, Tony Kubek, and Bryant Gumbel|
|Radio announcers||Vin Scully, Win Elliot and Herb Score|
Players in italics have since been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
|Home plate||Bill Haller (AL)|
|First base||Ed Vargo (NL)|
|Second base||Lou DiMuro (AL)|
|Third base||Bob Engel (NL)|
|Left field||Greg Kosc (AL)|
|Right field||Jim Quick (NL)|
|National League||American League|
|1||Pete Rose||Phillies||1B||1||Rod Carew||Angels||1B|
|2||Dave Concepción||Reds||SS||2||Willie Randolph||Yankees||2B|
|3||Dave Parker||Pirates||RF||3||George Brett||Royals||3B|
|4||Mike Schmidt||Phillies||3B||4||Dave Winfield||Yankees||CF|
|5||George Foster||Reds||LF||5||Ken Singleton||Orioles||LF|
|6||Andre Dawson||Expos||CF||6||Reggie Jackson||Yankees||RF|
|7||Gary Carter||Expos||C||7||Carlton Fisk||White Sox||C|
|8||Davey Lopes||Dodgers||2B||8||Bucky Dent||Yankees||SS|
|9||Fernando Valenzuela||Dodgers||P||9||Jack Morris||Tigers||P|
|WP: Vida Blue (1-0) LP: Rollie Fingers (0-1) Sv: Bruce Sutter (1)|
NL: Gary Carter 2 (1, 2), Dave Parker (1), Mike Schmidt (1)
AL: Ken Singleton (1)
The American League started with four shutout innings, two apiece by starter Jack Morris and Len Barker. Meanwhile, Fernando Valenzuela, only the second rookie pitcher to start an All-Star Game, pitched a scoreless first with two strikeouts. The AL got on the board in the second when Ken Singleton homered off Tom Seaver.
Burt Hooton came in for the NL in the AL-half of the sixth and promptly loaded the bases on three successive singles by Singleton, Dwight Evans, and Carlton Fisk. Fred Lynn lined another single, but only Singleton came home to tie it at 2-2. Buddy Bell followed with a sacrifice fly to give the AL a 3-2 lead. Eddie Murray then bounced what looked to be a double-play grounder to Steve Garvey at first, but Garvey's low throw combined with a great play by Ozzie Smith at second and a rolling slide by Lynn resulted in only a force at second. Fisk went to third and Ted Simmons singled him in to make it 4-2. Al Oliver then lifted a bloop fly ball to left that looked like it would drop, but Dusty Baker hustled in and made a sliding catch for the third out, saving a run and possibly more.
In the seventh, Carter got one of the runs back with his second homer, this one off Ron Davis. Then, in the eighth, Rollie Fingers walked Ozzie Smith. Smith stole second and attempted to take third when Bo Díaz' throw went into center field. Dave Winfield hustled the ball back to the infield and Smith was caught in a rundown and tagged out by Fingers. Mike Easler walked and Mike Schmidt homered off Fingers to give the National League their winning runs.
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 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers season got off to a strong start when rookie pitcher Fernando Valenzuela pitched a shutout on opening day, starting the craze that came to be known as "Fernandomania." Fernando went on to win both the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards.
The season was divided into two halves because of a players strike in mid-season. The Dodgers won the Western Division of the National League in the first half and advanced to the playoffs. They beat the Houston Astros in a divisional playoff and the Montreal Expos in the National League Championship Series before beating the New York Yankees to win the World Series.1981 Philadelphia Phillies season
The Philadelphia Phillies' 1981 season was a season in American baseball.1981 Pittsburgh Pirates season
The 1981 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 100th season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; their 95th in the National League. The Pirates finished fourth in the National League East in the first half of the season with a record of 25–23 and sixth in the second half with a record of 21–33.1981 San Diego Padres season
The 1981 San Diego Padres season was the 13th season in franchise history.1982 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1982 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 53rd midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 13, 1982, at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, home of the Montreal Expos of the National League. The game resulted in a 4–1 victory for the NL, and Cincinnati Reds shortstop Dave Concepción was named the MVP.
It is notable for being the first All-Star Game ever played outside the United States. This would be the only All-Star Game to be played in Montréal, as the Expos would leave in 2005 to become the Washington Nationals before having an opportunity to host another. Four members of the Expos were voted into the starting lineup. The flyover at the conclusion of the National Anthems was done for the first time by a national air squadron other than those from the United States Air Force or Air National Guard as the Snowbirds from the Canadian Forces Air Command flew over Olympic Stadium, marking the first of their two All-Star appearances; they would perform the flyover for the 1991 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Toronto nine years later. It is also the last All-Star Game in which the manager of the runner-up for any league pennant managed in place of the manager of the defending league champions due to the latter's unemployment; Billy Martin of the Oakland Athletics managed in place of Bob Lemon, who had been fired by the New York Yankees, Martin's former team.Bill Buckner
William Joseph Buckner (December 14, 1949 – May 27, 2019) was an American professional baseball first baseman and left fielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for five teams from 1969 through 1990, most notably the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Boston Red Sox. Beginning his career as an outfielder with the Dodgers, he helped the team to the 1974 pennant with a .314 batting average, but a serious ankle injury the next year eventually led to his trade to the Cubs prior to the 1977 season. The Cubs moved Buckner to first base, and he enjoyed his greatest success with the team, winning the National League (NL) batting title in 1980 with a .324 mark, and being named to the All-Star team the following season as he led the major leagues in doubles. After setting a major league record for first basemen with 159 assists in 1982, Buckner surpassed that total with 161 in 1983 while again leading the NL in doubles, before feuds with team management over a loss of playing time resulted in his being traded to the Red Sox in the middle of the 1984 season.
During the 1985 season, Buckner emerged as the Red Sox stalwart first baseman, starting all 162 games and shattering his own big league record with 184 assists. Toward the end of the 1986 season, he was hobbled by leg injuries and struggled throughout the playoffs. Buckner’s tenth-inning error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series against the New York Mets remains one of the most memorable plays in baseball history; it was long considered part of a curse on the Red Sox that kept them from winning the World Series, and led to years of fan anger and public mockery that Buckner handled graciously before being embraced by Red Sox fans again after their 2004 World Series victory.
After spending his last few seasons with the California Angels, Kansas City Royals, and a second stint with the Red Sox, Buckner became the 21st player in MLB history to play in four decades, ending his career with 2,715 hits and 498 doubles, having batted over .300 seven times with three seasons of 100 runs batted in (RBI). Never striking out 40 times in a season, he finished with the fifth-lowest strikeout rate among players whose careers began after 1950. Buckner led his league in assists four times, with his 1985 mark remaining the American League (AL) record, and retired with the fourth-most assists by a first baseman (1,351) in major league history, despite not playing the position regularly until he was 27 years old. After retiring as a player, he became a real estate developer in Idaho, and later coached a number of Minor League Baseball (MiLB) teams before leaving baseball in 2014.Eddie Murray
Eddie Clarence Murray (born February 24, 1956), nicknamed "Steady Eddie", is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) first baseman and designated hitter. Spending most of his MLB career with the Baltimore Orioles, he ranks fourth in team history in both games played and hits. Though Murray never won a Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, he finished in the top ten in MVP voting several times. After his playing career, Murray coached for the Orioles, Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers.
He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003. In the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (2001), Murray is described as the fifth-best first baseman in major league history. He was 77th on the list of the Baseball's 100 Greatest Players by The Sporting News (1998).Joel Youngblood
Joel Randolph Youngblood III (born August 28, 1951) is a former professional baseball player. He was a versatile player, who could play many different positions, as well as pinch hit. After his playing career ended, he served as the third base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks.Len Barker
Leonard Harold Barker III (born July 7, 1955) is a former Major League Baseball right-handed starting pitcher. He pitched the tenth perfect game in baseball history. Barker pitched for the Texas Rangers (1976–78), Cleveland Indians (1979–83), Atlanta Braves (1983–85) and Milwaukee Brewers (1987). During an 11-year baseball career, Barker compiled 74 wins, 975 strikeouts, and a 4.34 earned run average.
|Results and Awards|
² — Two All-Star Games were played these seasons. Italics indicate future games.
1981 MLB season by team
|AL Division Series|
|NL Division Series|
|AL Championship Series|
|NL Championship Series|
|AL Division Series|
|NL Division Series|