The Los Angeles Dodgers needed a strike interrupted season and a pitching sensation named Fernando Valenzuela to win a championship in 1981. More important for the Dodgers, perhaps, is that they found a way that year to connect with Hispanic fans who nearly four decades later are still loyal supporters of the team.
Author Jason Turbow tells PodcastOne Sports Now that the season was significant in many ways for the Dodgers, something he details in his new book “They Bled Blue,” a recap of a season like no other.
Turbow tells co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg that the split season championship may have been unorthodox, but sorely needed by a Dodger team anchored by a rookie pitcher and an aging but still productive infield. The playoffs that year featured for the first time winners of the first and second parts of a season that was interrupted by a labor dispute that shut down more than a third of the schedule at midseason.
Turbow tells the story about the strange season in his new book, and gives Litke and Dahlberg some tidbits from the book that even die-hard Dodger fans didn’t know.