Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Before Sunday’s rubber match in a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies, the Los Angeles Dodgers held a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of the team’s 1981 World Series team.
Many members of the 1981 squad made the return to Chavez Ravine for the festivities, with former owner Peter O’Malley, along with Fred Claire, Manny Mota, Mark Creese, Mark Bradley, Candy Maldonado, Ron Roenicke, Pepe Frias, Alejandro Peña, Tom Niedenfuer and Steve Sax among those in attendance.
So too were Derrel Thomas, Ken Landreaux, Jerry Reuss, Burt Hooton, Steve Yeager, Pedro Guerrero, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, Steve Garvey, Fernando Valenzuela and Rick Monday.
As part of the ceremony, broadcasting legend Vin Scully narrated a video telling the tale of the 1981 Dodgers and what it meant for the franchise to secure a World Series title that season.
After winning their third World Series in 1965, the Dodgers went on to lose their next four appearances in the Fall Classic, with two of those defeats coming to the the New York Yankees.
The 1981 season was abruptly paused by a league-wide strike that lasted from June 12 to August 9. Though many feared no agreement between the MLB Players Association and league owners would come to fruition, the two parties were able to reach a deal and the season returned to action before the end of the summer.
Finally, on October 28, the Dodgers defeated the Yankees to capture the franchise’s elusive fifth World Series Championship.
Scully sang many praises of the 1981 Dodgers, citing their resilience and persistence as primary factors in their championship run.
“Much like the 1955 and 2020 teams, the 1981 Dodgers were comprised of players who had been through the battles, and they, too, faced unprecedented obstacles and multiple instances of their season being on the brink,” Scully stated articulately. “And they, too, never gave up.”
Scully emphasized the leadership of longtime-manager Tommy Lasorda in the club’s ability to beat the odds in 1981.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a better example of perseverance than Tommy,” Scully said. “The impact of his will to win was undoubtedly one of the reasons that the 1981 Dodgers never gave up.
Moment of silence for deceased 1981 World Series champions
Deceased members of the 1981 team were honored in a moment of silence during the ceremony. Lasorda, coaches Monty Basgall, Bill Buehler, Danny Ozark and Ron Perranoski and General Manager Al Campanis were all acknowledged in memoriam.
Players Joe Beckwith, Bobby Castillo, Steve Howe, Jay Johnstone and Bob Welch were honored as well.
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