The 1981 Minnesota Twins finished a combined 41-68, seventh in the American League West. In the strike split season, the Twins were 17-39, seventh place in the first half and 24-29, fourth place in the second half. 469,090 fans attended Twins games, the lowest total in the American League. It was also their 21st and final season at Metropolitan Stadium, before moving their home games to the Metrodome the next season. The franchise would not play another outdoor home game until 2010, when Target Field opened.
|1981 Minnesota Twins|
|combined 41-68, seventh in the AL Western Division|
|Major League affiliations|
|Owner(s)||Calvin Griffith (majority owner, with Thelma Griffith Haynes)|
|General manager(s)||Calvin Griffith|
|Manager(s)||Johnny Goryl, Billy Gardner|
|Local television||KMSP-TV |
(Bob Kurtz, Larry Osterman)
|Local radio||830 WCCO AM |
(Herb Carneal, Frank Quilici)
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On August 24, first baseman Kent Hrbek made his major league debut, in a Yankee Stadium game. His twelfth-inning home run beat the Yankees 3-2. Later that week, Herbie was topped by catcher Tim Laudner, who debuted on August 28 and hit home runs in his first two games.
On September 20, Gary Gaetti made his major league debut and started at third base for the Twins. In his first at bat in the second inning, he homered off Texas Rangers pitcher Charlie Hough to become the third Twin to homer in his first-ever at bat. Gaetti joined Rick Renick (1968) and Dave McKay (1975). Later, Andre David (1984) and Eddie Rosario (2015) will join the trio in Twins history.
The Twins played their final game at Metropolitan Stadium on September 30, losing 5-2 to the Kansas City Royals. The club played their last outdoor home game for the next twenty-eight seasons in 56-degree temperature in front of 15,900 fans. "The Met" had been the Twins' home since their Minnesota opener on April 21, 1961 (also a loss). Gary Ward had the final Twins hit in the Met, a single in the ninth inning. Pete Mackanin homered in the second for the final Twins Met Stadium home run.
Reliever Doug Corbett was the Twins' only bright spot on the mound, racking up 17 saves.
|Chicago White Sox||54||52||0.509||8½||25–24||29–28|
|Kansas City Royals||50||53||0.485||11||19–28||31–25|
First Half Standings
|Chicago White Sox||31||22||.585|
|Kansas City Royals||20||30||.400|
Second Half Standings
|Kansas City Royals||30||23||.566|
|Chicago White Sox||23||30||.434|
1981 American League Records
Sources:              
|1981 Minnesota Twins|
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In
|AAA||Toledo Mud Hens||International League||Cal Ermer|
|AA||Orlando Twins||Southern League||Tom Kelly|
|A||Visalia Oaks||California League||Dick Phillips|
|A||Wisconsin Rapids Twins||Midwest League||Ken Staples|
|Rookie||Elizabethton Twins||Appalachian League||Fred Waters|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Orlando
1981 MLB season by team
|Culture and lore|
|Division titles (10)|
|Wild Card titles (1)|
|Minor league affiliates|