The 1981 World Series matched the New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers, marking their third meeting in the Series in five years as well as their last Series meeting to date. The Dodgers won the Series in six games at Yankee Stadium.
To defeat the legendary Bronx Bombers is one thing but to win and celebrate in the House that Ruth Built is something difficult to describe. I had experienced clubhouse celebrations prior in ’77, ’78 and leading up through the post season of ’81. On this evening of October 28, 1981 the wild victory celebration continued long after the champagne was spilled. In the midst of the ongoing party I came across a young Bob Welch positioned away from the main locker room dressed in shower towels and uni socks pushing a janitor’s broom.
I captured the moment before realizing that this was a poignant moment in this young man’s life. Here is a major league ballplayer that has achieved the pinnacle of success in baseball by just winning a World Series, yet he was strong enough to remove himself from the moment…the celebration. This, being one of many reasons why I grew to admire “Welchie”, was a moment in Bob’s life he knew he couldn’t defeat, Bobby was a young recovering alcoholic having spent time in rehab earlier in the year. This young athlete privately internalized his accomplishments as he discreetly pushed the broom.