1981 Major League Baseball strike

The 1981 Major League Baseball strike was the first work stoppage in Major League Baseball since the 1972 Major League Baseball strike that resulted in regular season games being cancelled. Overall, it was the fourth work stoppage since 1972, but actions in 1973, 1976, and 1980 did not result in any regular season games being cancelled.[1] The strike began on June 12 and forced the cancellation of 713 games (or 38 percent of the Major League schedule) in the middle of the regular season. The two sides reached an agreement on July 31, and play resumed on August 9 with the All-Star Game, with regular season play resuming one day later.

An estimated US$146 million was lost in player salaries, ticket sales, broadcast revenues, and concession revenues. The players lost $4 million a week in salaries while the owners suffered a total loss of $72 million.

The strike deadline

The Executive Board of the Major League Baseball Players Association voted unanimously to strike on May 29 due to the unresolved issue of free agent compensation. The deadline was extended briefly, however, after the Players' Association's unfair labor complaint was heard by the National Labor Relations Board.

Reasons for the strike

The strike was called in response to the owners wanting to win back the prerogatives over the players. The owners had already lost at the bargaining table and in the courts on the issue of the free agency draft. At issue during the seven-week-long negotiations was the owners demanding compensation for losing a free agent player to another team. The compensation in question was a player who was selected from the signing team's roster (not including 12 "protected" players). The players maintained that any form of compensation would undermine the value of free agency.


Although the strike was called by the players, many sportswriters and even fans placed most of the blame on the owners. Sports Illustrated reflected this particular opinion with the cover headline "Strike! The Walkout the Owners Provoked." One of the reasons the owners doled out such hefty contracts from 1978–1981 (43 players each negotiated contracts worth over $1 million during this period) was because they were afraid of losing disgruntled stars in the free agency reentry draft. So the owners paid their players the so-called new going rate in order to keep them from going elsewhere.

Reporters used Strat-O-Matic to simulate the delayed 1981 All-Star game inside Cleveland Stadium, with the scoreboard displaying the game's progress; the Strat-O-Matic set went to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Some newspapers used Strat-O-Matic to simulate other canceled games during the strike.[2]

The strike ends

On July 31, 1981, a compromise was reached. In the settlement, teams that lost a "premium" free agent could be compensated by drawing from a pool of players left unprotected from all of the clubs rather than just the signing club. Players agree to restricting free agency to players with six or more years of major league service.[1] The settlement gave the owners a limited victory on the compensation issue.

Reportedly, the negotiations were so bitter that when a settlement was finally reached, Players Association representative Marvin Miller and the owners' negotiator Ray Grebey refused to pose with each other for the traditional "peace ceremony" photograph.

The All-Star Game

Major League Baseball resumed on August 9 with the All-Star Game in Cleveland's Municipal Stadium. The All-Star Game, which was originally scheduled to be held on July 14, now served as a prelude to play resuming on August 10. The National League beat the American League 5-4.

When play resumed, attendance dropped in 17 of 24 cities and television ratings slumped sharply. Despite the disgruntled fans, the All-Star Game, which was played on a Sunday instead of the usual Tuesday, had its largest attendance (72,086), due to the large seating capacity of Municipal Stadium.

The split-season format

Due to the two-month strike, the owners tried to create an equitable solution. So on August 6, the owners decided to split the 1981 season into two halves, with the first-place teams from each half in each division (or a wild card team if the same club won both halves) meeting in a best-of-five divisional playoff series. The four survivors would then move on to the two best-of-five League Championship Series. It was the first time that Major League Baseball used a split-season format since 1892.


The split-season idea as put into practice (although garnering the league more playoff revenue) seemed to cheapen the results of the regular season. As first proposed, if a team won its division in both halves of the season, then it would play the team with the second best record overall (first and second half). A sportswriter pointed out that the arrangement would give a team with a good overall record an incentive to lose games against the first-half winner to help a division rival win both halves. On August 20, Major League Baseball revised the rules so that if a team won both halves of the season, it would face the second season runner-up instead.

Facing a playoff no matter their finish in the second half, the first-half winners lacked incentive (as opposed to the minor leagues, where if the same team did win both halves it was given a bye into the next round) to repeat, and finished the second half of the season with a composite record of only three games above .500. To make matters worse, the Cincinnati Reds (National League West) and St. Louis Cardinals (National League East) each failed to make the playoffs. This was despite the fact that they had the two best full-season records in the National League that season (and thus would have won their divisions under normal circumstances). The Cardinals would receive some vindication the following year when they won the World Series while the Reds would not make the postseason again until 1990, when they won the franchise's (to date) last World Series title.

In contrast to the Reds' and Cardinals' bad luck, the defending American League champion Kansas City Royals made the postseason despite owning the fourth-best full-season record in their division and posting a losing record overall (50–53). Notably, the format allowed the second-half National League East champion Montreal Expos to make the playoffs, the only time the Expos franchise would make the postseason in their 36-year stay in Montreal and their only postseason appearance of any kind until 2012, long after the team became the Washington Nationals. Ironically, the next time there would be a significant players' strike, 13 years later in 1994, the Expos would be end up being the team most hurt by the season's abrupt end.

The Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates ended up playing the fewest games of any team at 102. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants played the most at 111. Most teams finished with anywhere between 106 and 109 games.

See also


  1. ^ a b Costill, Albert (June 9, 2011). "A Look Back at Professional Sports Labor Disputes". AMOG. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  2. ^ Lemire, Joe (February 10, 2011). "Strat-O-Matic more than a game for its founder and devotees". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 10, 2012.


External links

1972 Major League Baseball strike

The 1972 Major League Baseball strike was the first players' strike in Major League Baseball history. The strike occurred from April 1 to 13, 1972.

1980 National League West tie-breaker game

The 1980 National League West tie-breaker game was a one-game extension to Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1980 regular season, played between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers to decide the winner of the National League's (NL) West Division. The game was played on October 6, 1980, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. It was necessary after the Dodgers overcame a three-game deficit in the final three games of the season and both teams finished with identical win–loss records of 92–70. The Dodgers won a coin flip late in the season which, by rule at the time, awarded them home field for the game.

The Astros won the game, 7–1, with Houston starter Joe Niekro throwing a complete game. This victory advanced the Astros to the 1980 NL Championship Series (NLCS), in which they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, ending the Astros' season. In baseball statistics, the tie-breaker counted as the 163rd regular season game for both teams, with all events in the game added to regular season statistics.

1981 American League Division Series

The 1981 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 1981 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 6, and ended on Sunday, October 11. The Division Series were created on August 6 in response to the 1981 Major League Baseball strike, which caused the cancellation of roughly one-third of the regular season between June 12 and August 9; by the time play was resumed, it was decided that the best approach was to have the first-half leaders automatically qualify for postseason play, and allow all the teams to begin the second half with a clean slate.

The first half and second-half champions in both the East and West divisions would meet in best-of-five series, with the winners advancing to the AL Championship Series (ALCS). If the same team won both halves, a wild card team—the second-place team, based on overall record, in the division—would qualify for the postseason, but this proved unnecessary in both leagues. There were no plans to continue the format in later seasons, although the Division Series resumed in 1995 after both major leagues realigned into three divisions. The teams in the 1981 ALDS were:

Eastern Division: New York Yankees (first-half champion, 34–22) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (second-half champion, 31–22): Yankees win series, 3–2.

Western Division: Oakland Athletics (first-half champion, 37–23) vs. Kansas City Royals (second-half champion, 30–23): Athletics win series, 3–0.The second-half champions played the first two games at home, with the first-half champions potentially hosting the last three; the first-half champions all posted better records in their half of the season than the second-half champions did.

The Royals became the first (and as of 2018, only) team to reach the MLB postseason with a .500 or worse record. Kansas City recovered to win the second half in the AL West following a 20-30 first half, giving them a 50-53 overall mark.

The Yankees and Athletics went on to meet in the AL Championship Series. The Yankees became the American League champion, and lost to the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1981 World Series.

1981 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1981 Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing 2nd in the American League East with a record of 59 wins and 46 losses. The season was suspended for 50 days due to the 1981 Major League Baseball strike. The Orioles hit five grand slams, the most in MLB in 1981.

1981 Boston Red Sox season

The 1981 Boston Red Sox season was the 81st season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. Due to the 1981 Major League Baseball strike, play during the regular season was

suspended for 50 days, and the season was split into two halves, with playoff teams determined by records from each half of the season. In the first half of the season, the Red Sox finished fifth in the American League East with a record of 30 wins and 26 losses, four games behind the New York Yankees. In the second half of the season, the Red Sox finished second in the division with a record of 29 wins and 23 losses, 1½ games behind the Milwaukee Brewers. The Red Sox' overall record for the season was 59 wins and 49 losses.

1981 Montreal Expos season

The 1981 Montreal Expos season was the 13th season in franchise history. They made it to the postseason for the first time in franchise history (the only time while the franchise was in Montreal, and the only time in franchise history until the Washington Nationals made the playoffs in 2012). The season was separated into two halves due to the 1981 Major League Baseball strike.

1981 National League Division Series

The 1981 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 1981 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 6, and ended on Sunday, October 11. The Division Series were created on August 6 in response to the 1981 Major League Baseball strike, which caused the cancellation of roughly one-third of the regular season between June 12 and August 9; by the time play was resumed, it was decided that the best approach was to have the first-half leaders automatically qualify for postseason play, and allow all the teams to begin the second half with a clean slate.

1985 Major League Baseball strike

The 1985 Major League Baseball strike was the fifth work stoppage in Major League Baseball since the 1972 Major League Baseball strike. The strike ran only two days, August 6 and 7. 23 of the 25 games which were scheduled for those days were made up later in the season.

2005 Major League Baseball season

The 2005 Major League Baseball season was notable for the league's new steroid policy in the wake of the BALCO scandal, which enforced harsher penalties than ever before for steroid use in Major League Baseball. Several players, including veteran Rafael Palmeiro, were suspended under the new policy. Besides steroids it was also notable that every team in the NL East division finished the season with at least 81 wins (at least half of the 162 games played). Additionally it was the first season featuring a baseball team in Washington, D.C. after more than 4 decades, with the Washington Nationals having moved from Montreal.

The Anaheim Angels changed their name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The season ended when the Chicago White Sox defeated the Houston Astros in a four-game sweep in the World Series, winning their first championship since 1917.

Baseball strike

A strike in baseball results when a batter swings at and misses a pitch, does not swing at a pitch in the strike zone or hits a foul ball that is not caught.

Baseball strike may also refer to:

1972 Major League Baseball strike

1973 Major League Baseball lockout

1976 Major League Baseball lockout

1980 Major League Baseball strike

1981 Major League Baseball strike

1985 Major League Baseball strike

1990 Major League Baseball lockout

1994–95 Major League Baseball strike

2004 Nippon Professional Baseball strike

Bob Boone

Robert Raymond Boone (born November 19, 1947) is an American former catcher and manager in Major League Baseball who was a four-time All-Star. Born in San Diego, California, Bob Boone is the son of a major league player, the late third baseman Ray Boone, and the father of two major leaguers: former second baseman Bret Boone and former utility infielder Aaron Boone. All four family members were named All-Stars during their careers.

Craig Swan

Craig Steven Swan (born November 30, 1950) was a Major League Baseball pitcher from 1973 to 1984 for the New York Mets and California Angels. Swan's best season came in 1978 when he posted a 9–6 win–loss record and led the National League with an earned run average of 2.43. This was significant as the Mets were in the National League East cellar that year. Swan featured a fastball between 90 and 95 miles per hour with good movement and an occasional slider.

Joe Charboneau

Joseph Charboneau (born June 17, 1955) is a former Major League Baseball player for the Cleveland Indians in the early 1980s. Bursting on the scene in 1980, Charboneau captured Cleveland's imagination, not just with his production but also his eccentricities. Charboneau had a tendency to dye his hair unnatural colors, as well as open beer bottles with his eye socket and drink beer with a straw through his nose.After winning the AL Rookie of the Year award in 1980, Charboneau's career quickly flamed out amidst injuries, specifically a back injury that never properly healed and restricted him for the next three years. He is one of the most oft-cited examples of baseball's fabled sophomore jinx, holding the record for the fewest career games played in the Major Leagues by a Rookie of the Year, with 201.

List of Los Angeles Angels seasons

This is a list of Los Angeles Angels seasons. The Los Angeles Angels are a professional baseball team based in Anaheim, California, United States. The Angels are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The Angels have been based in Angel Stadium since 1966.

List of Milwaukee Brewers managers

The Milwaukee Brewers Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise of the National League has employed 19 managers and 9 general managers (GMs) during its 50 seasons of play. Established in Seattle, Washington as the Seattle Pilots in 1969, the team became the Milwaukee Brewers after relocating to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1970. The franchise played in the American League until 1998, when it moved to the National League as a part of MLB's realignment plan. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field. In contrast, the general manager controls player transactions, hiring and firing of the coaching staff, and negotiates with players and agents regarding contracts.

The team's first manager, Joe Schultz, stayed with the Pilots for the entire 1969 season, but was released before the move to Milwaukee. Buck Rodgers managed the team in 1981 when the Brewers won the American League second-half East Division title. Due to the 1981 Major League Baseball strike, the season was split into two halves. The winners of each half met in the league division series. Rodgers and Harvey Kuenn managed the Brewers in 1982, leading them to win the American League pennant. Rodgers managed the team's first 47 games of the season before being fired and replaced by Kuenn. In 2008, Ned Yost and Dale Sveum, who took over for the fired Yost for the team's last 12 regular season games, led the team to win the National League wild card. Ken Macha managed the club for the 2009 and 2010 seasons but failed to lead the team to the playoffs. It was announced after the completion of the 2010 season that Macha's 2011 option would not be picked up. Ron Roenicke was hired to replace Macha for the 2011 season. Roenicke led the team to a franchise-best 96 wins during the 2011 season in addition to the Brewers' first NL Central title ever and first playoff series win since 1982. On May 3, 2015, they fired manager Roenicke after a dismal 7-18 start to the season. The following day, Craig Counsell was named the 19th manager in team history. Counsell had worked in the Brewer's front office since 2012.Phil Garner won 563 games from 1992 to 1999, giving him more wins than any other manager in franchise history. Having managed the team for 1,180 games, he is also the longest-tenured manager in team history. Harvey Kuenn's .576 winning percentage is the highest of all Brewers managers who have managed the team for more than one full season. Conversely, the lowest winning percentage over a season or more is .395, by the team's first manager, Joe Schultz. These records are correct as of the end of the 2018 season.

List of Seattle Mariners seasons

The Seattle Mariners have completed 40 seasons of professional baseball in the West division of Major League Baseball (MLB)'s American League (AL) since they began play in 1977. From April 6, 1977 until June 27, 1999, the Mariners played in Seattle's Kingdome. Since July 15, 1999, the Mariners have played at Safeco Field. Their name reflects their home city's coastal and marine culture.

An expansion team created as a result of a breach of contract lawsuit involving the Seattle Pilots' 1969 departure after just one year in Seattle, the Mariners finished each of their first 14 seasons with a losing record. However, after Seattle won its division and a playoff berth for the first time in 1995, they have enjoyed sporadic success, making the playoffs three more times but never advancing beyond the American League Championship Series (ALCS); the team has not been to the playoffs since 2001, the longest drought in MLB and in all of the major league North American sports.

MLB lockout

The MLB lockout may refer to the lockouts or strikes of Major League Baseball:

The 1972 Major League Baseball strike, which canceled 86 games

The 1973 Major League Baseball lockout, which cancelled no games

The 1976 Major League Baseball lockout, which cancelled no games

The 1980 Major League Baseball strike

The 1981 Major League Baseball strike, which cancelled 713 games

The 1985 Major League Baseball strike, which cancelled no games

The 1990 Major League Baseball lockout, which cancelled no games

The 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike, which cancelled the entire 1994 post-season, including the MLB World Series

National League East

The National League East is one of Major League Baseball's six divisions. The Atlanta Braves have the most National League East titles (13). Most of Atlanta's NL East titles came during a record stretch of reaching MLB playoffs 14 consecutive times (there were no playoffs in 1994 and the first three titles of that streak came when the Braves were in the National League West.)

The division was created when the National League (along with the American League) added two expansion teams and divided into two divisions, East and West effective for the 1969 season. The National League's geographical alignment was rather peculiar as its partitioning was really more north and south instead of east and west. Two teams in the Eastern Time Zone, the Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds, were in the same division as teams on the Pacific coast. This was due to the demands of the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, who refused to support expansion unless they were promised they would be kept together in the newly created East division.

During the two-division era, from 1969 to 1993, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates together owned more than half of the division titles, having won a combined 15 of 25 championships during that span. They were also the only teams in the division to have won consecutive titles during that span.When the National League realigned into three divisions in 1994, the Pittsburgh Pirates were originally supposed to stay in the East while the Braves were to be moved to the newly created National League Central. However, the Braves, wanting to form a natural rivalry with the expansion Florida Marlins, elected to be placed in the East. Despite the Marlins offering to go to the Central, the Pirates instead gave up their spot in the East to the Braves. Since then, the Pirates have tried several times unsuccessfully to be placed back in the East.

Talkin' Baseball

"Talkin' Baseball (Willie, Mickey & The Duke)" is a 1981 song written and performed by Terry Cashman. The song describes the history of American major league baseball from the 1950s to the beginning of the 1980s. The song was originally released during the 1981 Major League Baseball strike, and was inspired by a picture of the three outfielders of the title (Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, and Duke Snider) together. (Joe DiMaggio was also in the photograph, but he was left out of the song and airbrushed from the record's picture sleeve.) The original sheet music for the song is a part of the Cooperstown Collection, and Cashman was honored at the 2011 Hall Of Fame weekend.Each version begins with a synthesizer version of the first ten notes of the song "Take me Out to the Ballgame", before the singing starts. Each version ends on a fade.

A modified version of the song entitled "Talkin' Softball," also sung by Cashman, appeared in the February 20, 1992, episode of The Simpsons ("Homer at the Bat"). It can also be found on the 1999 CD compilation Go Simpsonic With the Simpsons. Talkin' Baseball closes out the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode "The Gang Beats Boggs.

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