1981 Minnesota Twins season

1981 Minnesota Twins
combined 41-68, seventh in the AL Western Division
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Calvin Griffith (majority owner, with Thelma Griffith Haynes)
General manager(s) Calvin Griffith
Manager(s) Johnny Goryl, Billy Gardner
Local television KMSP-TV
(Bob Kurtz, Larry Osterman)
Local radio 830 WCCO AM
(Herb Carneal, Frank Quilici)
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The 1981 Minnesota Twins finished a combined 41-68, seventh in the American League West. In the strike split season, the Twins were 17-39, seventh place in the first half and 24-29, fourth place in the second half. 469,090 fans attended Twins games, the lowest total in the American League. It was also their 21st and final season at Metropolitan Stadium, before moving their home games to the Metrodome the next season. The franchise would not play another outdoor home game until 2010, when Target Field opened.


Regular season

Only one Twins player made the All-Star Game: relief pitcher Doug Corbett.

On August 24, first baseman Kent Hrbek made his major league debut, in a Yankee Stadium game. His twelfth-inning home run beat the Yankees 3-2. Later that week, Herbie was topped by catcher Tim Laudner, who debuted on August 28 and hit home runs in his first two games.

On September 20, Gary Gaetti made his major league debut and started at third base for the Twins. In his first at bat in the second inning, he homered off Texas Rangers pitcher Charlie Hough to become the third Twin to homer in his first-ever at bat. Gaetti joined Rick Renick (1968) and Dave McKay (1975). Later, Andre David (1984) and Eddie Rosario (2015) will join the trio in Twins history.

The Twins played their final game at Metropolitan Stadium on September 30, losing 5-2 to the Kansas City Royals. The club played their last outdoor home game for the next twenty-eight seasons in 56-degree temperature in front of 15,900 fans. "The Met" had been the Twins' home since their Minnesota opener on April 21, 1961 (also a loss). Gary Ward had the final Twins hit in the Met, a single in the ninth inning. Pete Mackanin homered in the second for the final Twins Met Stadium home run.


John Castino batted .268 with 6 HR and 37 RBI. Shortstop Roy Smalley had 7 HR and collected 22 RBI.

Team Leaders
HRRoy Smalley7
RBIMickey Hatcher37
BAJohn Castino.268
RunsGary Ward42


Reliever Doug Corbett was the Twins' only bright spot on the mound, racking up 17 saves.

Team Leaders
ERAFernando Arroyo3.93
WinsPete Redfern9
SavesDoug Corbett17
StrikeoutsPete Redfern77

Season standings

AL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Oakland Athletics 6445 0.587 35–21 29–24
Texas Rangers 5748 0.543 5 32–24 25–24
Chicago White Sox 5452 0.509 25–24 29–28
Kansas City Royals 5053 0.485 11 19–28 31–25
California Angels 5159 0.464 13½ 26–28 25–31
Seattle Mariners 4465 0.404 20 20–37 24–28
Minnesota Twins 4168 0.376 23 24–36 17–32
AL West
First Half Standings
W L Pct.
Oakland Athletics3723.617
Texas Rangers3322.600
Chicago White Sox3122.585
California Angels3129.517
Kansas City Royals2030.400
Seattle Mariners2136.368
Minnesota Twins1739.304
AL West
Second Half Standings
W L Pct.
Kansas City Royals3023.566
Oakland Athletics2722.551
Texas Rangers2426.480
Minnesota Twins2429.453
Seattle Mariners2329.442
Chicago White Sox2330.434
California Angels2030.400

Record vs. opponents

1981 American League Records

Baltimore 2–26–63–64–26–75–32–46–07–67–54–22–15–2
Boston 2–22–45–47–66–13–36–72–53–37–59–33–64–0
California 6–64–26–77–53–30–64–33–32–22–86–42–46–6
Chicago 6–34–57–62–53–32–04–12–45–77–63–32–47–5
Cleveland 2–46–75–75–21–54–43–62–17–53–28–42–24–2
Detroit 7–61–63–33–35–13–25–89–33–71–25–19–36–4
Kansas City 3–53–36–00–24–42–34–59–42–103–36–73–45–3
Milwaukee 4–27–63–41–46–38–55–49–33–34–22–24–56–4
Minnesota 0–65–23–34–21–23–94–93–93–32–83–6–15–85–1
New York 6–73–32–27–55–77–310–23–33–34–32–35–42–3
Oakland 5–75–78–26–72–32–13–32–48–23–46–14–210–2
Seattle 2–43–94–63–34–81–57–62–26–3–13–21–65–83–3
Texas 1–26–34–24–22–23–94–35–48–54–52–48–56–2
Toronto 2–50–46–65–72–44–63–54–61–53–22–103–32–6

Notable transactions


1981 Minnesota Twins
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Player stats


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
3BJohn Castino101381102.268636
SSRoy Smalley5616744.263722
LFGary Ward8529578.264329
CFMickey Hatcher9937796.255337

Other batters

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Ron Jackson5417546.263428
Chuck Baker406612.18206
Tim Corcoran22519.17604
Lenny Faedo12418.19506


Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Albert Williams231506104.0876
Pete Redfern24141.2984.0777
Fernando Arroyo23128.17103.9339
Jerry Koosman1994.1394.2055
Roger Erickson1491.1383.8444

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Darrell Jackson1432.2334.4126

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Doug Corbett5426172.5760
Jack O'Connor283205.8616
Don Cooper271504.3033

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Toledo Mud Hens International League Cal Ermer
AA Orlando Twins Southern League Tom Kelly
A Visalia Oaks California League Dick Phillips
A Wisconsin Rapids Twins Midwest League Ken Staples
Rookie Elizabethton Twins Appalachian League Fred Waters




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