Monday, August 9, 2021

This Day in TV History: MLB's strike season of 1981 gets its All-Star game

Labor battles made 1981 one of the most bizarre seasons in Major League Baseball history, one in which playoffs were determined by split-season "winners," and the team with the best overall record didn't even make the postseason. The in-season strike delayed the annual All-Star Game in Cleveland from July 14 to August 9, 1981. NBC had the broadcast with Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek on the call.

The disastrous 1994 strike and the dread in the air of another work stoppage after this season makes one think of turning the fans away, but in 1981, fans were hungry to get the sport back. This game actually set a new attendance record.

The complete game broadcast is available below and in shorter form elsewhere on YouTube!

If you don't want to watch the entire game, here is something from the "it Was a Different Time" Dept.: Morganna the Kissing Bandit running on the field to nab Len Barker. Check out the reaction of several luminaries in the stands afterwards.

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