You no doubt recall the story of the final game of the 1981 World Series in broad strokes. Tommy John gets removed for a pinch-hitter after four innings, and the Dodgers score eight runs off the New York bullpen, five of them driven home by Pedro Guerrero. George Frazier took his third loss in four games.
But here are five bits of trivia you might have misplaced:
1) Steve Howe entered the game with an 8-1 lead … and got a save. He replaced Burt Hooton with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, gave up an RBI single, then allowed only a single and a walk over the final 3 2/3 innings and 54 pitches. Only Baltimore’s Sammy Stewart, pitching in the 1983 American League Championship Series, has had a longer postseason save since.
In his previous outing, four days earlier, Howe went three innings and 33 pitches, and got the Game 4 win.
2) Ron Cey, who went 2 for 3 and shared series MVP honors with Guerrero and Steve Yeager, went out for a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the sixth. Derrel Thomas replaced Cey at the plate and hit an RBI groundout. Cey had been hit in the head by a pitch three days earlier, in Game 5.
3) Ken Landreaux, who caught the final out, didn’t start. He entered the game in the bottom of the sixth as well.
4) Landreaux wouldn’t have caught the final out, except that Davey Lopes made an error on a Reggie Jackson grounder (capping a nine-pitch at-bat) on what could have been the last play of the game to keep the Yankees’ slim hopes alive. Mickey Owen, however, this wasn’t.
5) Longtime nemesis Jackson went 0 for 5. In fact, Nos. 3-5 hitters Dave Winfield, Jackson and Bob Watson combined to go 0 for 14.