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1981 Chicago Cubs

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[edit] 1981 Chicago Cubs / Franchise: Chicago Cubs / BR Team Page

Record: 38-65, Finished 6th in NL Eastern Division (1981 NL)

Managed by Joey Amalfitano

Ballpark: Wrigley Field

[edit] History, Comments, Contributions

The 1981 Chicago Cubs became the nationwide butt of jokes, especially during the first part of the season. In the strike-torn season, the Cubs played the first "half" with a record of 15-37. Night show host Johnny Carson made regular jokes at their expense.

The team improved somewhat in the second "half" of the season, going 23-28.

Still, the team was pretty bad. The team batting average was .236, in a league that hit .255. The team slugged almost 25 points below the league slugging average, in spite of playing in the homer-friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

Bobby Bonds, hustling but hitting only .215, finished out his major league playing days in 1981.

The pitching staff finished second-to-last in ERA, and tied for last for the fewest saves. No pitcher won 10 games, and only Mike Krukow, with 9 wins, had more than 5.

Among the hitters, nobody had more than 10 home runs. Bill Buckner led the team in slugging and tied for the team lead in home runs, which wasn't a common occurrence for him. Buckner was the only one of the five regular infielders who hit better than .234, as two of them hit under .200.

On the bright side, a fellow named Lee Smith got his first major league save. A kid named Mel Hall got his first major league hit. Rookie Jody Davis got playing time at catcher.

And in the city of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Phillies were eyeing Cub shortstop Ivan DeJesus, and would engineer a trade in the off-season between 1981 and 1982 to bring DeJesus to Philly to help the team win the 1983 pennant. To get DeJesus, all the Phils had to do was trade oldster Larry Bowa and unproven youngster Ryne Sandberg. The Cubs would win that trade handily.


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