Game 285 | January 20, 1981 | C. Raymond Grebey
A veteran of corporate labor relations, Grebey was hired by Major League Baseball as the head of its Player Relations Committee. In that role he was most frequently pitted against the outspoken Marvin Miller, head of the players' union, in some of baseball's most tumultuous negotiations.
Game 286 | May 14, 1981 | Bobby Knight
Under Coach Knight the Indiana Hoosiers won their second of three NCAA titles in 1981. That team was led by sophomore guard Isiah Thomas, and the Hoosiers defeated North Carolina 63-50 in the finals. Future Minnesota Timberwolves Coach Randy Wittman was a sophomore on that team which also featured Ray Tolbert and Landon Turner.
Game 287 | June 4, 1981 | Tony Want
Following a very successful career in his native England, Want joined the fledgling Minnesota Kicks soccer team in 1978 and played with the team through the 1981 season. He was a defender for the Kicks who had a solid 13 years of experience in England before joining a number of his countrymen in the new North American Soccer League.
Game 288 | June 10, 1981 | Bill Gardner, Mickey Hatcher
Gardner replaced Johnny Goryl as Twins manager midway through the strike-shortened season of 1981. Hatcher had come to the Twins in an off-season trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers for outfielder Ken Landreaux. Hatcher's 37 RBIs led the team in their final year of play at Metropolitan Stadium.
Game 289 | July 29, 1981 | Roy Smalley
Nephew of former manager Gene Mauch, Smalley joined the Twins in a 1976 trade with Texas for Bert Blyleven and Danny Thompson. He was an All-Star shortstop for the Twins in 1979 and left the team in 1982 in a trade with the New York Yankees that brought Greg Gagne and Ron Davis to the Twins. Smalley rejoined the Twins in 1985 and played with them until 1987. He's been a Dunker since 1989 and was Head Coach in 1998.
Game 290 | September 11, 1981 | Steve Dils, Joe Senser
Dils was the starting Stanford quarterback under Bill Walsh in 1978 when he won the Sammy Baugh Award as the best passer in college football. A fourth-round draft pick in 1979, he played six years with the Vikings, starting most of the 1983 season when he was paired in the backfield with another Stanford grad, running back Darrin Nelson. Senser, a former tight end and basketball star at tiny West Chester University, Senser was an outstanding pass-catching tight end for the Vikings 1979-1984. After injuries shortened his career, he was a color analyst on Vikings broadcasts for six years while establishing a popular group of suburban sports restaurants.
(LtoR) Sid Hartman, Joe Senser, Paul Youngdahl, Steve Dils
Game 291 | September 25, 1981 | Joe Salem
Gopher football under Salem had its best year in 1981. The team finished 6-5 with impressive wins over Iowa and Ohio State. One of the stars of the defense was Edina's Karl Mecklenburg, who went on to become one of the top defensive linemen in the history of the Denver Broncos.
Game 292 | October 27, 1981 | Lou Nanne, Tim Young
Dino Ciccarelli scored a franchise-record 55 goals in just his second season, and the North Stars won their first divisional title in 1981-82. The team lost to the Chicago Black hawks in the first round of the playoffs. Young, a 26-year-old forward, finished l0th in scoring on a strong offensive team behind Bobby Smith, Ciccarelli, Neal Broten, Steve Payne, Craig Hartsburg, AI MacAdam, Steve Christoff, Brad Palmer and Tom McCarthy.
Game 293 | November 24, 1981 | Jim Dutcher
The Gophers finished 19-11 in Dutcher's sixth season as head coach. Randy Breuer led the team in scoring with a 15.2 average, followed closely by Trent Tucker (14.8) and Mark Hall (14.5). The team defeated Drake and Connecticut in NIT play before losing to West Virginia at Williams Arena.