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Dodgers History: 41 Years Ago LA Finally Beat the Yankees

On October 28, 1981, the Dodgers finally accomplished the impossible as they defeated the New York Yankees in six games to capture their fifth World Series title in franchise history.

This was the Dodgers’ first title since 1965 and their first victory over the Yankees since 1963. Dodgers cruised to an easy 9-2 series-clinching victory as Burt Hooton picked up the win at the old Yankee Stadium.

For the first time in World Series history, there were co-MVPs.

The winners were Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero, and Steve Yeager. Cey slashed .350/.458/.400 with a .958 OPS; he had seven total hits with one home run, six RBIs, and only three strikeouts.

Guerrero slashed.333/.417/.762 with a 1.179 OPS. Pedro had seven hits, two home runs, and seven RBIs in 24 at-bats.

And the final co-MVP, Steve Yeager, had himself a series as well. Yeager slashed .286/.267/.786 with a 1.052 OPS in 14 at-bats. He also had four hits, two home runs, and four RBI’s to earn him co-MVP honors.

Game 6 of the World Series was supposed to be played on October 27, but it had been postponed due to rain. Los Angeles had 13 hits and scored eight runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth inning to ultimately put the game away.

The Dodgers’ just toyed with the Yankees’ bullpen in the middle innings. Cey hit an RBI single, and Guerrero hit a two-run triple in the fifth inning.

During the sixth inning, the Dodgers took advantage of the Yankees’ sloppiness as they did the little things to score four runs in the inning. The Yankees had a total of two errors compared to the Dodgers one.

It was a long time coming for L.A as they lost back-to-back World Series matchups to the Yankees in 1977 and 1978. 1981 was a sweet one, and it’s hard to believe that it’s been 40 years since the Dodgers captured that illustrative title.

Let’s hope we can repeat that success in 2023.

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