Collectible of the Week: 1981 Phillies NLDS Program
1981 was the year of the split-season. A player's strike in July broke the season into two halves, and ultimately gave birth to the National League Division Series ("NLDS"). The Divisional Series' pitted the first-place teams from each half (or, a division's runner-up in the case of one team winning both halves), in a best-of-five playoff series. As a result, the Phillies, who won the National League East for the first half of the season, took on the second-half winning Montreal Expos.
In a theme that would extend into the 1982 season, the white program cover features color action photos of players Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Pete Rose situated around the NLDS logo. The trio were selected as a tribute to their individual record-breaking seasons - Rose breaking Stan Musial's all-time National League hits record (3,631 on August 10th); Carlton breaking the 3,000 strikeout mark (April 29), then setting a new NL record with 3,118 (September 21); Schmidt launching his 300th home run (August 4).