Hall of Champions: 1981

1981 World Series

Los Angeles Dodgers 9, New York Yankees 2

Dodgers win series 4 games to 2 (3-5, 0-3, 5-4, 8-7, 2-1, 9-2).

The 1981 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1981 season, and the 78th edition of the World Series. It featured the National League (NL) champion Los Angeles Dodgers (63-47) against the American League (AL) champion New York Yankees (59-48). The Dodgers' season got off to a strong start when rookie pitcher Fernando Valenzuela pitched a shutout on opening day, starting the craze that came to be known as "Fernandomania." Fernando went on to win both the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards.



Game Date

Wednesday, October 28, 1981



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For the first time, there were co-MVP's in a World Series: Dodgers Ron Cey (.350 avg., 7-for-20, HR, 6 RBIs), catcher Steve Yeager (.286 avg., 4-for-14, 2 HR's), and Pedro Guerrero (.333 avg, 7-for-21, 2 HR's, 7 RBIs) shared the award.

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1982 World Series

After the series, Owner George Steinbrenner issued a public apology to the City of New York for his team's performance, while at the same time assuring the fans that plans to put the team together for 1982 would begin immediately.

  • The Dodgers got to the Series with help from Mexican-born rookie phenom Fernando Valenzuela, who won his first eight games including five by shutout. Valenzuela would pitch eight shutouts in all and win both the NL Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award.
  • Veterans Burt Hooton (11–6, 2.28) and Jerry Reuss (10–4, 2.30) were strengths in the Dodger rotation, as were Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey in the infield. They also had budding star Pedro Guerrero in the outfield.
  • Offensive bright spots for the Yankees in the series were Lou Piniella, who hit .438, Aurelio Rodriguez, who hit .417, and Willie Randolph, who smoked 2 home runs. Dave Winfield signed as a free agent in 1981 for $21 million - he went 1-for-22.
  • Due to the players' strike, which ran from June 12 to August 8, the 1981 season was split into two halves, with the first-place teams from each half in each division meeting in the best-of-five League Division Series.

©CCM Feb 24 2022

1981 NFL Season: Super Bowl XVI

San Francisco 49ers 26, Cincinnati Bengals 21

Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan. Attendance 81,270.

1981 NFL Season: Super Bowl XVI featured the National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers (13-3) against the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Cincinnati Bengals (12-4). The Raiders defeated the Eagles, becoming the first wild card playoff team to win a Super Bowl. The 49ers managed playoff wins over the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, while the Bengals finished the regular had postseason victories over the Buffalo Bills and the San Diego Chargers.



Game Date

Sunday, January 24, 1982



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Cincinnati's 356 yards of offense to San Francisco's 275 marked the first time in Super Bowl history that a team which was outgained in total yards won. The Bengals committed 4 turnovers to San Francisco's 1, which played a major factor in the outcome.

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Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson was the top rated passer in the league in 1981 and won both the NFL Most Valuable Player Award and the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Cris Collinsworth and Dan Ross were favorite targets.

  • 49ers' quarterback Joe Montana was named the Super Bowl MVP, completing 14 of 22 passes for 157 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing for 18 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
  • Joe Montana's favorite targets were receivers Dwight Clark (85 receptions, 1,104 yards, and 4 touchdowns) and Freddie Solomon (59 receptions, 969 yards, and 8 touchdowns), along with tight end Charle Young (37 receptions for 400 yards and 5 touchdowns).
  • 49ers' defensive back Ronnie Lott had the best season of his career 1981, recording seven interceptions and tying an NFL record by returning three of them for touchdowns.
  • Cincinnati was a surprise team because, like the 49ers, they had recorded a 6–10 record during the previous season. And prior to this year, they had never won a playoff game in their entire history.

©CCM Feb 24 2022

1982 Stanley Cup Finals

New York Islanders 3, Vancouver Canucks 1

Islanders win the series 4 games to 0 (6-5, 6-4, 3-0, 3-1).

The 1982 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 1981–82 season, and the culmination of the 1982 Stanley Cup playoffs. The series featured the Vancouver Canucks (30-33-17), making their first Finals appearance, and the two-time defending champion New York Islanders (54-16-10). This 1982 Finals took place under a revised NHL divisional alignment and playoff structure, which de facto revived the "East vs. West" format for the Finals.



Game Date

Sunday, May 16, 1982



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Vancouver, despite having a losing record in the regular season (they only won 30 of 82 games), defeated the Calgary Flames 3–0, the Los Angeles Kings 4–1 and the Chicago Blackhawks 4–1 to advance, creating a Stanley Cup Finals mismatch.

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Goalie Billy Smith elevated his level of play during the playoffs in a way that may have never been replicated. He was simply money in the net, and he backstopped the Islanders to four straight Stanley Cup championships.

  • With the Islanders having 118 points and the Vancouver Canucks having 77, the 41-point difference between the two teams in a final round is the largest in Stanley Cup Finals history.
  • Islander super scorer Mike Bossy scored seven goals in the four games, tying Jean Beliveau's record from 1956, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy. Bossy got a hat trick in Game 1, then helped complete the sweep with 2 goals in Game 4.
  • Islander goalie Billy Smith was brilliant in the Cup Finals, delivering a Game 3 shutout (he only managed one shutout during the 1981-82 season).
  • The Canucks did have 3 30-goal scorers during the regular season: Thomas Gradin (37), Stan Smyl (34) and Ivan Boldirev (33). Richard Brodeur won 20 games in goal for the Canucks, with 2 shutouts.

©CCM Feb 24 2022

1982 NBA Finals

Los Angeles Lakers 114, Philadelphia 76ers 104

Lakers win the series 4 games to 2 (124-117, 94-110, 129-108, 111-101, 102-135, 114-104).

The 1982 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the 1982 NBA Playoffs, which concluded the National Basketball Association 1981–82 season. The Philadelphia 76ers (58-24) from the Eastern Conference were matched with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers (57-25). Newly hired Laker coach Pat Riley installed a freewheeling offense and aggressive, trapping defense, and the Lakers responded by winning 57 games.



Game Date

Tuesday, June 8, 1982



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The Lakers' guard Magic Johnson, with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists in Game 6, was named the series MVP. He led the Lakers in rebounds in most of the games of the NBA Finals.

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1983 NBA Finals

As time wound down in the 76ers' Game 7 blowout against the Celtics in their series, the Boston Garden crowd began to chant "Beat L.A.!", encouraging the 76ers to defeat the hated Lakers in the championship round.

  • Bob McAdoo, a midseason addition to L.A., was crucial to the team’s title run. Although he won three consecutive league scoring titles as a member of the Buffalo Braves in the 1970s, his teams never got past the East semis.
  • With a healthy Magic Johnson and the additions of Kurt Rambis and Bob McAdoo, the Lakers dominated their playoff rounds, sweeping the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Semifinals, and the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.
  • While Andrew Toney (26 ppg) and Julius Erving (25 ppg) provided offensive firepower for the 76ers in the NBA Finals, their team play was no match for the Showtime offense of the Lakers.
  • “This is the happiest moment of my life,” said Bob McAdoo (16.7 ppg) in the moments after the Lakers wrapped up the 1982 Finals. “People have said bad things about me during my career, but this makes up for it.”

©CCM Feb 24 2022