1981 June

2nd  Highlighted by Jerry Martin’s grand slam, the Giants score 9 runs in the 4th against the Reds, which is enough to overcome Ron Oester’s grand slam in the 5th.  San Francisco wins, 15–7.

3rd  Royals C Jerry Grote hits a grand slam (his first home run since 1976) and goes 3-for-4 with a club-record 7 RBI to lead Kansas City to a 12–9 win over Seattle. Grote had returned from a 2-year retirement to win a spot with the Royals as a free agent during spring training.

      The Angels put on an exhibition at Exhibition Stadium, topping the Blue Jays 17-6. Hitting stars include Rick Burleson, who goes 5-for-5 and 3 RBI, Dan Ford, who drives in 4 runs, and Brian Downing with a 3-run homer. Geoff Zahn (6-6) allows 12 hits in the win.

4thThe Cubs purchase Bobby Bonds from Texas and in his first game for the Cubs, Bonds trips on a seam in the field carpet at Three Rivers Stadium and breaks a bone in his right hand. He goes on the 21-day DL. The Pirates win, 5–4, in the 10th when Lacy triples and Berra singles him in.

5th  Houston’s Nolan Ryan passes Early Wynn as baseball’s all-time walk leader, walking 2 batters in a 3–0 win over the Mets to raise his total to 1,777. Ryan also fans 10 batters while pitching a 5-hitter.

6th The Cubs score 4 runs in the 4th inning, 3 on a pinch HR from Mike Tyson, to knock rookie phenom Fernando Valenzuela out of the game. The Cubs are victorious over the Dodgers 11–5 at Wrigley.

7th  Andre Dawson’s 4th inning single is Montreal’s only hit off Bruce Berenyi as the Reds win, 2–0, at Riverfront.

      In a great pickup for St. Louis, Houston Astros trades Joaquin Andujar to the Cardinals for Tony Scott. Andujar will win two games in the 1982 WS and win 21 and 20 in 1984 and 1985 respectively.

8th  The Angels use a 6-run 8th to defeat the Indians, 10–2. Fred Lynn provides little help making all 3 outs in the inning. He leads off with a fly out and ends the scoring with a DP.

      The Seattle Mariners take Oral Roberts University righthander Mike Moore with the first pick overall in the annual amateur draft. Moore will prove a reliable ML starter, winning 161 games, the most ever by a number 1 pick. The Cubs take Wichita State’s Joe Carter with the 2nd pick while the Angels take Dick Schofield, son of a former major leaguer, with the 3rd pick. The Mets take Terry Blocker with the 4th and Toronto takes Matt Williams with the #5. San Diego selects Kevin McReynolds with #6 and use their 3rd round pick to take San Diego State outfielder Tony Gwynn. Later in the day the San Diego Clippers will select Gwynn in the 10th round of the NBA draft. The Yankees use their first round pick to take Stanford QB John Elway while the Ranger pick Yale’s Ron Darling with #9. Darling is the 4th Ivy Leaguer to be picked in the 1st round. The Braves fare worst in the draft as their #1 pick Jay Roberts will never hit above .208 in the minors, and no other picks make it to the Bigs. The Reds select high school catcher Lanell Cuver as their top pick, but do better on the 4th round, picking Paul O’Neill. The Dodgers select Sid Bream in the 2nd round and Sid Fernandez in the 3rd. The Yankees sign Fred McGriff, drafted in the 9th round. Len Dykstra goes to the Mets in the 13th round

      The Reds swap 1B Harry Spilman to Houston for Rafael Landestoy.

10th  Phillies 1B Pete Rose singles off Nolan Ryan in the first inning to tie Stan Musial as the NL’s all-time hit leader with 3,630, then strikes out in his next 3 at bats. Rose’s single is the only hit off Ryan until the 8th inning, when Philadelphia scores 5 times for a 5–4 win over Houston.

11th  The White Sox beat the Yankees 3–2, handing pitcher Doug Bird his first loss since August 16, 1978. The journeyman righthander had won 12 consecutive decisions.

      In St. Louis, the Cardinals beat Fernando Valenzuela 2–1, but the Dodgers still are a half-game in front of Cincinnati a day before the players’ strike begins.

      The Reds (35-21) win their 7th straight, topping the Mets, 2–1, in New York. For the Reds it is their 7th straight win and pulls them to a half game behind the Dodgers.

12th  At 12:30 a.m., after meeting with the owners for most of the previous day, players’ union chief Marvin Miller announces, “We have accomplished nothing. The strike is on,” thus beginning the longest labor action to date in American sports history. By the time the season resumes on August 10th, 706 games (38 percent of the ML schedule) will have been canceled.

      The New York Yankees trade Doug Bird, $400,000 and a player to be named (Mike Griffin) to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Rick Reuschel. Reuschel will go 4-4 with New York, will miss the ’82 season because of a torn rotator cuff, and sign with the Cubs in 1983.

16th  Cubs owner Bill Wrigley announces his plan to sell the team to the Tribune Company for $20.5 million.  The sale will end 65 years of the Wrigley family ownership of the team. According to newspaper reports interim GM Herman Franks, player rep Tim Blackwell and Pirates president Dan Galbreath were all taken by surprise.

23rd  Dave Koza scores Marty Barrett with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 33rd inning, giving Pawtucket a 3–2 win over Rochester and ending the longest game in professional baseball history. The game had been suspended April 19th after 32 innings and 8 hours, 7 minutes of play, but the continuation took only 18 minutes to complete. Bob Ojeda pitches one inning to earn the win. Future ML stars Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken go a combined 6-for-25.