The 1981 Major League Baseball season culminated with the Los Angeles Dodgers defeating the New York Yankees in the World Series, capturing the franchise's fifth World Series title. The season had a players' strike, which lasted from June 12 to July 31, and split the season into two halves. Teams that won their division in each half of the season advanced to the playoffs. This was the first split season in American League history, and second for the National League, which had played a split season in 1892.
The All-Star Game was originally scheduled for July 14, but was canceled due to the strike. It was ultimately played on August 9, as a prelude to the second half of the season, which began the following day.