Today In Dodger History: Dodgers Defeat Yankees In 1981 World Series

October 28, 1981

After falling behind 2-0 in the 1981 World Series, the Dodgers reeled off three straight victories at Chavez Ravine to send the series back to New York with the chance to close it out in Game 6.

All three Dodger wins were decided by one run, after some tight games in New York to start the series, making it seem that home-field advantage could play a role. The game was originally slated for October 27, but was moved back a day due to rain. The delay allowed the Yankees to send out Tommy John to oppose Dodger starter Burt Hooton.

Heading into the the bottom of the fourth inning, the score was tied 1-1 as both teams settled into another close game; however, Yankee manager Bob Lemon decided to pinch hit for John with a chance to score some runs with two outs. He sent out Bobby Murcer to bat for his starting pitcher, but Murcer flew out to end the inning.

The Dodgers would capitalize on the move by scoring three runs in the fifth off reliever George Frazier. Then in the sixth, the NL champions scored four more runs off the Yankee bullpen, giving them an 8-2 lead.

Hooton would only last 5.1 innings and allowed one more run before giving way to reliever Steve Howe. The left-handed Howe would finish the game and earn a 3.2 inning save.

The offense would tack on one more run in the eighth inning when center fielder Pedro Guerrero hit a solo home run. Howe got first baseman Bob Watson to fly out to center with two outs in the ninth and the Dodgers were the 1981 World Series Champions.

After the game, it was announced that the series MVP would be split among three Dodgers. Catcher Steve Yeager, third baseman Ron Cey and Guerrero were named co-MVPs, the first time that happened in World Series history.

The Dodgers have won one more World Series since 1981, but have yet to reach the Fall Classic since the 1988 championship.

Watch Game 6 In Its’ Entirety

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