1981 World Series Replay Game 1: Haven’t We Met?

1981 World Series cartoon

It’s time for another World Series replay, using the APBA Baseball game. This time, we go back to 1981, where the infamous strike forced a strange split season and three-round postseason that was a harbinger of the system we have today. That October, the Yankees and Dodgers – no strangers to each other or to the Fall Classic – squared off despite having the tenth and fourth-best records overall in the interrupted regular season. The Yankees were without 1978 playoff hero Bucky Dent, as he was injured in late August. He won’t be playing in this replay, either, but many other stars will be.

The Yankees and Dodgers played some of the most memorable World Series ever in the 1940s and 1950s, but after the Dodgers’ move to Los Angeles in 1958, they’d only met three times in the Fall Classic: LA swept the nearly-at-the-end-of-the-dynasty Yankees in 1963, while the pinstripers won two memorable Series in 1977 and 1978. The 1981 Series was a chance for redemption and an opportunity for the Dodgers to square things up in the post-expansion era1As of this writing, we’re still waiting for another Yankees/Dodgers World Series.

Lemon’s Gamble Pays Off, Yanks Win Game One, 1-0

NEW YORK (October 20, 1981)Oscar Gamble‘s sacrifice fly to deep center field scored Larry Milbourne with the only run of the game with two out in the 10th inning Tuesday night as the New York Yankees took the first game of the 1981 World Series, 1-0, over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Milbourne led off the home tenth with a double into the right center field gap off reliever Dave Stewart (0-1). After Bobby Brown hit a fly ball to shallow right, Stewart uncorked a wild pitch that advanced Milbourne to third. Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda then intentionally walked Willie Randolph, bringing up the pitcher’s spot in the order and forcing Yankee manager Bob Lemon into a decision. Lasorda waited until Lemon announced Gamble as the pinch hitter for Gossage, then brought in lefthander Steve Howe. With no better options on his bench, Lemon stuck with Gamble, the veteran delivered the fly ball to center, and Milbourne scampered home well ahead of the desperation throw by Pedro Guerrero with the game-winning run.

The Dodgers’ inability to plate a run (they left 10 men on base) spoiled a stellar effort by starting pitcher Jerry Reuss, who threw eight innings of four-hit, shutout ball before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the ninth.

Ron Guidry matched Reuss by pitching a shutout into the eighth, when Lemon removed him in favor of fireballing Ron Davis with two on and two out. Davis retired Guerrero on a ground ball back to the mound to squash the Dodger threat. Rich Gossage (1-0) blanked Los Angeles for two innings to get the win, stranding Davey Lopes at third with the potential go-ahead run by inducing Steve Garvey into a weak bounce-out to second in the top of the tenth.

Gamble’s RBI was the first game-ending sacrifice fly in a World Series game since the eighth game of the 1912 World Series, when Boston’s Larry Gardner pulled off the feat against Christy Mathewson and the New York Giants[mnf]This may get retconned when I get around to playing the 1912 World Series[/mnf].

Game Two Wednesday night matches Dodger righthander Burt Hooton (11-6 during the regular season) against Yankee stalwart Tommy John (9-8).

1981 WORLD SERIES GAME ONE
At Yankee Stadium
1981 New York Yankees 1, 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers 0
Tuesday, October 20, 1981

1981 Los Angeles Dodgers (0-1)                           1981 New York Yankees (1-0)                             
Player          AB R  H BI BB SO  P  A  E LOB   Ave      Player          AB R  H BI BB SO  P  A  E LOB   Ave      
------          -- -  - -- -- --  -  -  - ---   ---      ------          -- -  - -- -- --  -  -  - ---   ---      
Lopes 2b        4  0  0  0  1  0  3  1  1  1   .000      Randolph 2b     4  0  1  0  1  1  2  3  1  2   .250
Russell ss      5  0  2  0  0  1  2  3  2  0   .400      Mumphrey cf     4  0  0  0  0  0  3  0  0  1   .000
Baker lf        5  0  0  0  0  1  3  0  0  2   .000       Gossage p      0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0   .000
Garvey 1b       5  0  1  0  0  0  7  0  0  2   .200       Gamble ph      0  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0   .000
Cey 3b          4  0  2  0  0  0  1  4  0  0   .500      Winfield lf     4  0  1  0  0  1  5  0  0  0   .250
Guerrero cf     4  0  0  0  0  1  5  0  0  3   .000      Piniella rf     3  0  1  0  0  0  3  0  0  1   .333
Monday rf       4  0  1  0  0  1  3  0  0  0   .250       Jackson ph rf  1  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  0   .000
Yeager c        4  0  1  0  0  0  5  0  0  2   .250      Watson 1b       4  0  0  0  0  0  7  0  0  1   .000
Reuss p         2  0  1  0  0  1  0  0  0  0   .500      Nettles 3b      3  0  0  0  1  0  1  1  0  0   .000
 Landreaux ph   1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0   .000      Cerone c        4  0  0  0  0  0  6  0  0  2   .000
 Stewart p      0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0   .000      Milbourne ss    4  1  2  0  0  0  2  2  0  0   .500
 Howe p         0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0   .000      Guidry p        1  0  0  0  0  1  0  2  0  0   .000
                                                          Davis p        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0   .000
                                                          Brown ph cf    2  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0   .000
                -- -  - -- -- -- -- -- -- ---                            -- -  - -- -- -- -- -- -- ---            
Totals          38 0  8  0  1  5  29 8  3  10            Totals          34 1  5  1  2  4  30 9  1  7  

                                 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10     R  H  E
                                 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -      -  -  -
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers         0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0      0  8  3  
1981 New York Yankees            0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1      1  5  1  
Two out when winning run scored.
E- Lopes(1), Russell 2(2), Randolph(1)
LOB- 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers 10, 1981 New York Yankees 7
2B- Cey(1), Milbourne(1), Winfield(1)
RBI- Gamble(1)
SB- Lopes(1), Randolph(1)
SH- Reuss(1), Guidry(1)
SF- Gamble(1)
GIDP- Watson(1)
RLSP- Baker, Garvey, Guerrero 2, Lopes, Yeager, Cerone, Mumphrey, Randolph 2, Watson  
DP- 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers 1
GWRBI - Gamble(1)
  
 
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers            IP   H  R  ER BB SO    ERA
Reuss                               8.0  4  0  0  0  3    0.00  
Stewart(L 0-1)                      1.1  1  1  1  2  1    6.75  
Howe                                0.1  0  0  0  0  0    0.00  
 
1981 New York Yankees               IP   H  R  ER BB SO    ERA
Guidry                              7.2  8  0  0  0  5    0.00  
Davis                               0.1  0  0  0  0  0    0.00  
Gossage(W 1-0)                      2.0  0  0  0  1  0    0.00  
 
Inherited runners-scored- Howe 2-1, Davis 2-0
Batters faced- Reuss 29, Stewart 8, Howe 1, Guidry 32, Davis, Gossage 7
WP- Stewart
Umpires- Barnett, Colosi, Cooney, Harvey, Garcia, Stello
T - :32 


Kenn Tomasch

Kenn Tomasch

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