Photograph © Bob Gaver
"John Lipon, the ex-Tiger infielder who had once managed Cleveland and had a reputation for working well with young players, was the new Bison manager in 1981. Lipon saw his reputation tarnished in the first half of the split season. The Bisons finished dead last - 18½ games out of first. There was some improvement in the second half, but not enough to cause any excitement. Attendance dropped alarmingly as dissatisfaction grew over the poor showing of the team and over the quality of the players being supplied by the Pirates. Bright performers were few. Outfielder Doug Frobel, now in the majors, hit 28 home runs, but batted only .251. All-star Bert Vargas was back and contributed 25 home runs to go with his 84 RBIs and .274 average. Except for future Pirate, Jose DeLeon, who was 12-6, and Steve Farr (8-3), no Buffalo pitcher was over .500. For the first time since coming into the league, the Bisons did not lead in attendance. Their draw of 83,464 was 47,000 below 1980. " *Buffalo Bisons.
The Bisons finished with a 56-81, (.409) record in 7th place overall.