1981 November

3rd  Brewers Rollie Fingers (28 saves, 1.04 ERA) wins the AL Cy Young Award, collecting 22 of 28 possible first-place votes. The other 6 go to Oakland’s Steve McCatty.

4th  The Reds trade OF Ken Griffey to the Yankees for P Fred Toliver and minor-leaguer Brian Ryder. Griffey was about to become a free agent.

      The Phillies announce that Pat Corrales will manage the club in 1982, replacing Dallas Green, who quit to become Cubs GM.

11th  Fernando Valenzuela becomes the first rookie ever to win a Cy Young Award, edging the Reds Tom Seaver 70-67 for NL honors. He was the first rookie since Herb Score in 1955 to lead his league in strikeouts with 180.  Valenzuela also wins TSN’s silver bat award for being the top hitter at his position: he hits .250 this year and will win it again in 1983 with a .187. The only other pitcher to win a Cy Young and a silver slugger award in the same year will be Tom Glavine, in 1991 and 1998.

14th  The Indians trade 8-year veteran Duane Kuiper to the Giants for P Ed Whitson.  Kuiper hit one homer in 8 years and as a parting gift the Indians give him a plaque of the seat where the homer landed.

15th  Cubs IF Steve Macko dies of cancer at the age of 27. He did not play at all in 1981 because of the illness, but hit .250 in 25 games in 1979-80.

16th  After 11 seasons as the announcer for the White Sox. Harry Caray signs a two-year contract with WGN to broadcast the Cubs games.  Caray says that the Sox move to cable television is the reason he jumped to the North Side.

18th  Phillies 3B Mike Schmidt wins his 2nd consecutive NL MVP Award, joining Ernie Banks and Joe Morgan as the only NL players to win the award back-to-back. Schmidt hit .316 with 31 HRs and 91 RBI in the abbreviated season and also led the league in runs and walks.

      Dick Williams, fired by the Expos on September 7th, is named manager of the Padres. It is the 5th club Williams has managed since taking over the Red Sox in 1967.

25th  Rollie Fingers becomes the first relief pitcher ever to win the AL MVP Award, edging Oakland’s Rickey Henderson 319-308.

27th  The Tigers trade OF Steve Kemp to the White Sox for OF Chet Lemon.

30th  Yankees P Dave Righetti (8-4, 2.06 in 1981) wins the AL Rookie of the Year Award.