The 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers season got off to a strong start when rookie pitcher Fernando Valenzuela pitched a shutout on opening day, starting the craze that came to be known as "Fernandomania." Fernando went on to win both the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards.
The season was divided into two halves because of a players strike in mid-season. The Dodgers won the Western Division of the National League in the first half and advanced to the playoffs. They beat the Houston Astros in a divisional playoff and the Montreal Expos in the National League Championship Series before beating the New York Yankees to win the World Series.