In the crazy, strike shortened season of 1981, two teams battled it out for the NL Division Series. The Houston Astros met the Los Angeles Dodgers in the best of five. And it was a terrific series.
Game one lineups are familiar with fans today as most are coaches or team execs. Some are even Hall of Famers.
The lineup for Game #1 for the Astros looked like this:
1 Terry Puhl RF
2 Phil Garner 2B
3 Tony Scott CF
4 Jose Cruz LF
5 Cesar Cedeno 1B
6 Art Howe 3B
7 Kiko Garcia SS
8 Alan Ashby C
9 Nolan Ryan P
The lineup for the Dodgers was this:
1 Davey Lopes 2B
2 Ken Landreaux CF
3 Dusty Baker LF
4 Steve Garvey 1B
5 Rick Monday RF
6 Pedro Guerrero 3B
7 Mike Scioscia C
8 Bill Russell SS
9 Fernando Valenzuela P
In the bottom of the 6th, Terry Puhl singled to RF. Phil Garner walked. Then Tony Scott singled and drove in Puhl for a 1-0 Astro lead.
But in the top of the 7th, Steve Garvey hit a home run off of Nolan Ryan to tie the score.
Then in the bottom of the 9th, in this pitching dual, Craig Reynolds singled to CF then Alan Ashby provided the legendary moment in the Astrodome smashing a walk off home run to RF as the Astros won 3-1.
Nolan Ryan had 7 Ks, the victory and a complete game.
Last night, behind the plate in the first row sat Nolan Ryan, along with his wife, watching the Astros win the American League pennant. As the executive advisor to the owner of the Houston Astros, he still has his fingers on the game. After the game, he was on the field and noticeably was seen talking with Justin Verlander of the Astros. It was an interesting picture…the all-time strikeout leader talking with the MVP of the ALCS.
Perhaps they were talking about game one of the 2017 World Series. Could it be Verlander against Kershaw?
This should be a terrific series as both teams won over 100 games this season which is the first time in 40 years two teams with century wins are facing each other for the top prize in The Show.