36 years ago the Dodgers last played on Oct 24th
and it was one of the greatest World Series games in LAD history. The Yankees held a two games to one lead headed into the 4th game and they had knocked out the Dodger starter Bob Welch in the first inning. Welch only faced four batters giving up a triple, double, walk, and single before being replaced by Dave Goltz.
Goltz the goat of 1980 got the next three outs giving up only a sacrifice fly so the Dodgers were only down 2 – 0. Goltz would give up two solo runs in the 2nd and 3rd and left with the Dodgers behind 4 – 0. The Dodgers would scrap for two runs of their own in the bottom of the 3rd and another run in the bottom of the 5th to close the gap to 4 – 3.
Bill Russell made a key error in the top of the 6th and the Yankee’s scored two unearned runs pushing the lead to 6 – 3.
And thus began one of the coolest innings in LAD World Series history. I sometimes get this inning confused with the NLCS game three 1977 in which the Dodgers scored three runs in the 9th to win. In my mind Vic Davalillo is the hero in 1981 but it was 1977.
With one out, Mike Scioscia drew a walk and Jay Johnstone pinch hit and slugged a two run home run cutting the lead to 6 – 5.
Who can forget Reggie, Dodger Stadium, Game 4, 1981 World Series, Davey Lopes at the plate, easy fly ball, right field, uh, yes, well, . . . klunk. . . . The ball bounces off Reggie’s chest (his chest?) for a two-base error.
Lopes stole 3rd base and scored the tying run on a hit by Bill Russell.
With the score tied, Steve Howe entered the game and pitched the final three innings. The Dodgers would score two more runs in the bottom of the 7th and hold onto to win 8 – 7.
They would not lose another game.
It was the greatest World Series of my lifetime because I had watched this group of Dodgers lose the World Series in 1974, 1977, and 1978.