1981 Cincinnati Reds
LeagueNational League
DivisionWest
BallparkRiverfront Stadium
CityCincinnati
Record66–42 (.611)
Divisional place1st
OwnersWilliam & James Williams
General managersDick Wagner
ManagersJohn McNamara
TelevisionWLWT
(Ray Lane, Bill Brown, Dick Carlson)
RadioWLW
(Marty Brennaman, Joe Nuxhall)
← 1980 Seasons 1982 →

The 1981 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds finishing with an overall record of 66–42, giving them the best win–loss record in all of Major League Baseball. However, due to a split-season format caused by a mid-season players' strike, they failed to make the MLB playoffs because they did not finish first in either half of the season; they finished in second place in both halves by scant margins. The Reds finished the first half of the season in second place with a record of 35–21, just one-half game behind the eventual world champion Los Angeles Dodgers, and one-and-a-half games behind the Houston Astros in the second half, in which the Reds were 31–21, good for second place, again. Before the final game of the season against the Atlanta Braves, the team unveiled a banner which said "Cincinnati Reds: Baseball's best record 1981". The Reds were managed by John McNamara and played their home games at Riverfront Stadium.

Offseason

Regular season

Season standings

NL West
Team W L Pct. GB Home Road
Cincinnati Reds 66 42 .611 32‍–‍22 34‍–‍20
Los Angeles Dodgers 63 47 .573 4 33‍–‍23 30‍–‍24
Houston Astros 61 49 .555 6 31‍–‍20 30‍–‍29
San Francisco Giants 56 55 .505 11½ 29‍–‍24 27‍–‍31
Atlanta Braves 50 56 .472 15 22‍–‍27 28‍–‍29
San Diego Padres 41 69 .373 26 20‍–‍35 21‍–‍34
NL West
First Half Standings
W L Pct. GB
Los Angeles Dodgers 36 21 .632
Cincinnati Reds 35 21 .625 12
Houston Astros 28 29 .491 8
Atlanta Braves 25 29 .463 9+12
San Francisco Giants 27 32 .458 10
San Diego Padres 23 33 .411 12+12
NL West
Second Half Standings
W L Pct. GB
Houston Astros 33 20 .623
Cincinnati Reds 31 21 .596 1+12
San Francisco Giants 29 23 .558 3+12
Los Angeles Dodgers 27 26 .509 6
Atlanta Braves 25 27 .481 7+12
San Diego Padres 18 36 .333 15+12

Record vs. opponents


Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]
Team ATL CHC CIN HOU LAD MON NYM PHI PIT SD SF STL
Atlanta 3–2–1 6–5 4–8 7–7 3–7 3–3 4–5 2–3 9–6 5–7 4–3
Chicago 2–3–1 1–5 1–6 6–4 4–7 5–8–1 2–10 4–10 3–3 5–5 5–4–1
Cincinnati 5–6 5–1 8–4 8–8 5–4 7–3 5–2 4–2 10–2 9–5 0–5
Houston 8–4 6–1 4–8 4–8 5–2 6–3 4–6 2–4 11–3 9–6 2–4
Los Angeles 7–7 4–6 8–8 8–4 5–2 5–1 3–3 5–1 6–5 7–5 5–5
Montreal 7–3 7–4 4–5 2–5 2–5 9–3 7–4 10–3 4–2 2–5 6–9
New York 3–3 8–5–1 3–7 3–6 1–5 3–9 7–7 3–6–1 2–5 2–4 6–5
Philadelphia 5-4 10–2 2–5 6–4 3–3 4–7 7–7 7–5 4–2 4–3 7–6
Pittsburgh 3–2 10–4 2–4 4–2 1–5 3–10 6–3–1 5–7 6–4 3–7 3–8
San Diego 6–9 3–3 2–10 3–11 5–6 2–4 5–2 2–4 4–6 6–7 3–7
San Francisco 7–5 5–5 5–9 6–9 5–7 5–2 4–2 3–4 7–3 7–6 2–3
St. Louis 3–4 4–5–1 5–0 4–2 5–5 9–6 5–6 6–7 8–3 7–3 3–2


Notable transactions

Roster

1981 Cincinnati Reds roster
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Game log

First half

1981 First half game log: 35–21 (Home: 17–11; Away: 18–10)
April: 11–7 (Home: 4–4; Away: 7–3)
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record Streak
1 April 8 Phillies 3–2 Hume (1–0) Lyle (0–1) 51,716 1–0 W1
2 April 10 @ Braves 3–5 Garber (1–0) Soto (0–1) Camp (1) 34,929 1–1 L1
3 April 11 @ Braves 3–2 Bair (1–0) Garber (1–1) 15,973 2–1 W1
4 April 12 @ Braves 2–3 Bradford (1–0) Hume (1–1) Mahler (1) 12,227 2–2 L1
5 April 13 @ Padres 7–1 Seaver (1–0) Wise (0–1) 36,391 3–2 W1
6 April 14 @ Padres 4–0 Berenyi (1–0) Curtis (0–1) 12,198 4–2 W2
7 April 15 @ Padres 10–1 Soto (1–1) Mura (0–1) 10,801 5–2 W3
8 April 17 Cardinals 5–9 Sorensen (2–0) LaCoss (0–1) 22,961 5–3 L1
9 April 18 Cardinals 4–10 Shirley (1–0) Seaver (1–1) 22,529 5–4 L2
10 April 21 Braves 1–10 Boggs (1–1) Soto (1–2) 24,022 5–5 L3
11 April 22 Braves 3–7 Perry (1–1) LaCoss (0–2) 15,735 5–6 L4
12 April 23 @ Astros 5–4 (10) Price (1–0) D. Smith (0–2) Moskau (1) 23,173 6–6 W1
13 April 24 @ Astros 3–0 Pastore (1–0) Niekro (1–3) 27,087 7–6 W2
14 April 25 @ Astros 2–1 Berenyi (2–0) Ryan (1–1) Hume (1) 19,957 8–6 W3
15 April 26 @ Astros 0–1 Knepper (2–0) Soto (1–3) 23,428 8–7 L1
16 April 28 Padres 11–2 Seaver (2–1) Lollar (1–1) 13,103 9–7 W1
17 April 29 Padres 8–5 Moskau (1–0) Littlefield (0–2) Hume (2) 12,291 10–7 W2
18 April 30 Padres 4–3 LaCoss (1–2) Mura (0–3) Hume (3) 12,794 11–7 W3
May: 16–13 (Home: 10–7; Away: 6–6)
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record Streak
19 May 1 @ Cardinals 6–7 Forsch (2–1) Soto (1–4) Sutter (5) 21,315 11–8 L1
20 May 2 @ Cardinals 3–7 Shirley (3–0) Berenyi (2–1) 16,677 11–9 L2
21 May 3 @ Cardinals 4–5 (11) Edelen (1–0) Hume (1–2) 21,855 11–10 L3
May 5 Pirates Postponed (rain); Makeup: May 7
22 May 6 Pirates 9–8 Hume (2–2) Jackson (1–2) 14,551 12–10 W1
23 May 7 Pirates 1–3 Rhoden (4–0) Soto (1–5) Romo (3) 12–11 L1
24 May 7 Pirates 1–7 Solomon (2–1) LaCoss (1–3) 20,301 12–12 L2
25 May 8 Astros 4–0 Seaver (3–1) Sutton (2–4) 31,961 13–12 W1
26 May 9 Astros 9–5 Berenyi (3–1) Andújar (1–2) 30,860 14–12 W2
27 May 10 Astros 5–7 Niekro (3–3) Pastore (1–1) LaCorte (2) 31,903 14–13 L1
28 May 11 Astros 0–5 Ryan (2–1) LaCoss (1–4) 11,795 14–14 L2
29 May 12 Cubs 2–1 Soto (2–5) Tidrow (1–4) 12,016 15–14 W1
30 May 13 Cubs 8–3 Seaver (4–1) Krukow (1–3) 12,528 16–14 W2
31 May 14 Cubs 6–1 Berenyi (4–1) Reuschel (1–4) 11,098 17–14 W3
32 May 15 @ Pirates 4–1 Price (2–0) Romo (0–2) Hume (4) 10,592 18–14 W4
33 May 16 @ Pirates 4–0 LaCoss (2–4) Scurry (1–2) 11,890 19–14 W5
34 May 17 @ Pirates 4–3 Soto (3–5) Solomon (2–3) 11,775 20–14 W6
35 May 19 @ Cubs 5–0 Seaver (5–1) Reuschel (1–5) Moskau (2) 5,896 21–14 W7
36 May 20 @ Cubs 10–7 Price (3–0) Smith (1–3) Hume (5) 5,914 22–14 W8
37 May 21 @ Cubs 1–5 Martz (2–2) Pastore (1–2) 7,132 22–15 L1
38 May 22 Dodgers 2–4 (12) Stewart (2–0) Bair (1–1) 27,943 22–16 L2
39 May 23 Dodgers 6–9 (10) Stewart (3–0) Moskau (1–1) Castillo (4) 40,928 22–17 L3
40 May 24 Dodgers 3–2 Moskau (2–1) Welch (2–3) Price (1) 23–17 W1
41 May 24 Dodgers 3–10 Castillo (1–4) Berenyi (4–2) 36,113 23–18 L1
42 May 25 Giants 6–3 Combe (1–0) Holland (3–2) 15,684 24–18 W1
May 26 Giants Postponed (rain); Makeup: August 14
43 May 27 Giants 3–2 Soto (4–5) Alexander (5–3) 12,223 25–18 W2
44 May 28 Giants 7–4 Price (4–0) Lavelle (0–3) 20,077 26–18 W3
45 May 29 @ Dodgers 2–5 Welch (3–3) LaCoss (2–5) Howe (5) 45,749 26–19 L1
46 May 30 @ Dodgers 9–1 Pastore (2–2) Hooton (7–1) 43,582 27–19 W1
47 May 31 @ Dodgers 4–16 Goltz (1–0) Soto (4–6) 46,411 27–20 L1
June: 8–1 (Home: 3–0; Away: 5–1)
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record Streak
48 June 1 @ Giants 8–5 Hume (3–2) Minton (2–3) 4,620 28–20 W1
49 June 2 @ Giants 7–15 Whitson (2–5) LaCoss (2–6) Holland (4) 19,007 28–21 L1
50 June 3 @ Giants 6–2 Pastore (3–2) Blue (5–4) 7,114 29–21 W1
51 June 5 Expos 6–3 Soto (5–6) Rogers (6–4) 21,298 30–21 W2
52 June 6 Expos 9–3 Seaver (6–1) Lea (4–3) 26,016 31–21 W3
53 June 7 Expos 2–0 Berenyi (5–2) Burris (3–5) 40,010 32–21 W4
54 June 9 @ Mets 8–4 Hume (4–2) Falcone (1–3) 12,313 33–21 W5
55 June 10 @ Mets 2–0 Soto (6–6) Jones (1–7) 9,732 34–21 W6
56 June 11 @ Mets 5–2 Seaver (7–1) Zachry (5–7) 18,612 35–21 W7

Second half

1981 Second half game log: 31–21 (Home: 15–11; Away: 16–10)
August: 10–10 (Home: 7–4; Away: 3–6)
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record Streak
ASG August 9 All-Star Game AL 4–5 NL Blue (1–0) Fingers (0–1) Sutter (1) 72,086
57 August 10 @ Dodgers 0–4 Reuss (6–2) Pastore (3–3) Howe (6) 35,120 35–22 L1
58 August 11 @ Dodgers 7–6 Brown (1–0) Forster (0–1) Hume (6) 45,817 36–22 W1
59 August 12 @ Dodgers 5–8 Stewart (4–1) Seaver (7–2) Howe (7) 36,494 36–23 L1
60 August 14 Giants 0–4 Whitson (3–5) Berenyi (5–3) 36–24 L2
61 August 14 Giants 7–6 (10) Hume (5–2) Holland (3–4) 22,404 37–24 W1
62 August 15 Giants 2–5 Alexander (6–4) Pastore (3–4) Minton (11) 20,671 37–25 L1
63 August 16 Giants 2–1 Soto (7–6) Griffin (5–6) Hume (7) 20,309 38–25 W1
64 August 18 Phillies 3–1 Seaver (8–2) Carlton (9–3) Hume (8) 25,363 39–25 W2
65 August 19 Phillies 6–3 Hume (6–2) Lyle (5–2) 23,133 40–25 W3
66 August 21 Mets 2–0 Soto (8–6) Zachry (6–8) 20,410 41–25 W4
67 August 22 Mets 4–7 Boitano (1–0) Pastore (3–5) Allen (11) 25,949 41–26 L1
68 August 23 Mets 2–3 (10) Allen (5–3) Hume (6–3) 20,761 41–27 L2
69 August 24 Mets 2–0 Berenyi (6–3) Scott (3–7) 19,506 42–27 W1
70 August 25 @ Expos 1–9 Sanderson (7–4) LaCoss (2–7) 40,162 42–28 L1
71 August 26 @ Expos 0–6 Gullickson (4–6) Soto (8–7) 23,126 42–29 L2
72 August 27 @ Expos 0–12 Burris (6–5) Pastore (3–6) 30,874 42–30 L3
73 August 28 @ Mets 5–2 Seaver (9–2) Allen (5–4) 23,061 43–30 W1
74 August 29 @ Mets 2–3 Scott (4–7) Berenyi (6–4) Allen (13) 44,598 43–31 L1
75 August 30 @ Mets 6–3 LaCoss (3–7) Harris (2–4) 18,770 44–31 W1
76 August 31 Expos 9–8 Bair (2–1) Lee (2–4) 20,506 45–31 W2
September: 20–8 (Home: 7–4; Away: 13–4)
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record Streak
77 September 1 Expos 3–4 Lea (5–4) Price (4–1) Reardon (4) 15,978 45–32 L1
78 September 2 Expos 7–0 Seaver (10–2) Bahnsen (2–1) 12,926 46–32 W1
79 September 3 @ Phillies 9–3 Berenyi (7–4) M. Davis (0–3) 26,540 47–32 W2
80 September 4 @ Phillies 6–7 Lyle (7–4) Bair (2–2) McGraw (9) 25,020 47–33 L1
81 September 5 @ Phillies 4–5 R. Reed (3–1) Soto (8–8) 41,845 47–34 L2
82 September 6 @ Phillies 5–4 Hume (7–3) Lyle (7–5) Price (2) 30,366 48–34 W1
83 September 7 Padres 8–7 Seaver (11–2) Show (0–1) Price (3) 14,443 49–34 W2
84 September 8 Padres 1–6 Eichelberger (7–6) Berenyi (7–5) 11,739 49–35 L1
85 September 9 Padres 5–4 Hume (8–3) Urrea (2–2) 16,328 50–35 W1
86 September 11 Dodgers 3–2 (10) Price (5–1) Peña (1–1) 25,237 51–35 W2
87 September 12 Dodgers 6–5 (11) LaCoss (4–7) Power (0–1) 34,090 52–35 W3
88 September 13 Dodgers 2–4 Castillo (2–4) Pastore (3–7) Stewart (5) 27,858 52–36 L1
89 September 14 @ Astros 4–2 Berenyi (8–5) Ruhle (3–4) 19,742 53–36 W1
90 September 15 @ Astros 4–0 Leibrandt (1–0) Ryan (8–5) 16,354 54–36 W2
91 September 16 @ Giants 7–12 Breining (4–2) Soto (8–9) 4,168 54–37 L1
92 September 17 @ Giants 1–0 (10) Seaver (12–2) Holland (6–5) Hume (9) 4,721 55–37 W1
93 September 18 @ Dodgers 5–4 Price (6–1) Stewart (4–3) Hume (10) 44,258 56–37 W2
94 September 19 @ Dodgers 7–3 Edelen (2–0) Hooton (10–6) 48,352 57–37 W3
95 September 20 @ Dodgers 5–1 Soto (9–9) Power (1–2) 39,560 58–37 W4
96 September 21 @ Padres 0–6 Welsh (6–6) Leibrandt (1–1) 5,501 58–38 L1
97 September 22 @ Padres 3–2 Seaver (13–2) Eichelberger (8–7) Hume (11) 4,764 59–38 W1
98 September 23 @ Padres 5–1 Pastore (4–7) Wise (3–8) Price (4) 4,831 60–38 W2
99 September 25 @ Braves 10–2 Soto (10–9) Boggs (3–12) 7,817 61–38 W3
100 September 26 @ Braves 2–0 Berenyi (9–5) Niekro (7–6) Hume (12) 5,117 62–38 W4
101 September 27 @ Braves 4–2 Seaver (14–2) Perry (7–9) LaCoss (1) 7,455 63–38 W5
102 September 28 Giants 0–4 Hargesheimer (1–1) Pastore (4–8) 12,944 63–39 L1
103 September 29 Giants 4–3 Hume (9–3) Minton (4–5) 13,117 64–39 W1
104 September 30 Astros 5–2 Soto (11–9) Ruhle (4–6) Hume (13) 24,394 65–39 W2
October: 1–3 (Home: 1–3; Away: 0–0)
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record Streak
105 October 1 Astros 1–8 Ryan (11–5) Berenyi (9–6) 26,484 65–40 L1
106 October 2 Braves 5–11 Perry (8–9) Pastore (4–9) 14,793 65–41 L2
107 October 3 Braves 3–4 Mahler (8–6) Hume (9–4) Camp (17) 17,544 65–42 L3
108 October 4 Braves 3–0 Soto (12–9) Boggs (3–13) 31,764 66–42 W1

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Joe Nolan 81 236 73 .309 1 26
1B Dan Driessen 82 233 55 .236 7 33
2B Ron Oester 105 354 96 .271 5 42
SS Dave Concepción 106 421 129 .306 5 67
3B Ray Knight 106 386 100 .259 6 34
LF George Foster 108 414 122 .295 22 90
CF Ken Griffey 101 396 123 .311 2 34
RF Dave Collins 95 360 98 .272 3 23

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Johnny Bench 52 178 55 .309 8 25
Mike O'Berry 55 111 20 .180 1 5
Paul Householder 23 69 19 .275 2 9
Larry Biittner 42 61 13 .213 0 8
Sam Mejías 66 49 14 .286 0 7
Junior Kennedy 27 44 11 .250 0 5
Mike Vail 31 31 5 .161 0 3
Harry Spilman 23 24 4 .167 0 3
Rafael Landestoy 12 11 2 .182 0 1
Germán Barranca 9 6 2 .333 0 1
Eddie Milner 8 5 1 .200 0 1
Neil Fiala 2 2 1 .500 0 1

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Mario Soto 25 175.0 12 9 3.29 151
Tom Seaver 23 166.1 14 2 2.54 87
Frank Pastore 22 132.0 4 9 4.02 81
Bruce Berenyi 21 126.0 9 6 3.50 106

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Mike LaCoss 20 78.0 4 7 6.12 22
Charlie Liebrandt 7 30.0 1 1 3.60 9

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Tom Hume 51 9 4 13 3.46 27
Joe Price 41 6 1 4 2.52 41
Paul Moskau 27 2 1 2 .494 32
Doug Bair 24 2 2 0 5.77 16
Geoff Combe 14 1 0 0 7.64 9
Scott Brown 10 1 0 0 2.77 7
Joe Edelen 5 1 0 0 0.71 5

Awards and honors

Farm system

See also: Minor League Baseball

Level Team League Manager
AAA Indianapolis Indians American Association Jim Beauchamp
AA Waterbury Reds Eastern League George Scherger
A Tampa Tarpons Florida State League Jim Lett
A Cedar Rapids Reds Midwest League Randy Davidson
A-Short Season Eugene Emeralds Northwest League Greg Riddoch
Rookie Billings Mustangs Pioneer League Jim Hoff

Notes

  1. ^ Joe Kerrigan page at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ "Terry McGriff Stats".
  3. ^ "Paul O'Neill Stats | Baseball-Reference.com".
  4. ^ Neil Fiala page at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ "Hutch Award | Baseball Almanac".

References