Thursday, April 28, 2011

1984 San Diego Padres

A hard luck franchise
The San Diego Padres came to be starting in the 1969 season. Padres baseball is perhaps best known for Tony Gwynn and having arguably the worst uniforms in the history of the major leagues. One thing that is often overlooked is that when they were at their best, they came up against some of the best teams in the history of the game in the post season. Their best season as a franchise came in 1998 when they won 98 games in the regular season and made it to the World Series. Unfortunately, they came up against the best team of the 1990s record wise, the 1998 New York Yankees, winners of a then AL record 114 games, and got swept in the World Series.

1984 was their second best season, having won 92 games and made it to their first World Series as a franchise. It was just the second above .500 team in their history. They would, of course, lose to the team tied with the second best record of the 1980s, 4 games to 1 in the World Series. This was a solid young team that with some veteran leadership sprinkled in, that did little else in the 1980s.

Tony Gwynn
This was Tony Gwynn's third season in the big leagues. He is the most well known Padre and the 2nd to go into the hall-of-fame with a Padres logo on his hat. (Can you name the other?) He was the only player to play on both Padres teams that went to the World Series.

1984 was his breakout year. He was easily the best player on this team, leading the team in batting average and hits. He was also 2nd on the team in stolen bases and 3rd in RBIs. What put him on the national radar in 1984, was that he won the first of his eight batting titles and also led the league in hits. He ended up 3rd in the MVP voting.

Veteran Leadership
In 1982 and 1983, the Padres completed back to back .500 seasons. They were both very youthful teams and they came together in 1984. What may have helped was some of the veteran leadership brought in that had connections to the 1977-1978 World Series, both won by the Yankees over the Dodgers. Steve Garvey, formerly of the '77/'78 Dodgers, was brought in prior to the 1983 season. Garvey would lead the 1984 team in RBIs to go with a good .284 batting average. Prior to the 1984 season, a couple of former Yankees from those late '70s teams were brought in, Graig Nettles and Rich Gossage. They all had plenty of gas left in the tank. Gossage was probably the best pitcher on this team and solidified the bullpen. Nettles took over at third base from Luis Salazar who manned the position the previous season. This allowed Salazar to do what he did best throughout his career, be what I call a supersub, play many positions and be a 9th regular.

The Cards
We are only 4 players short of being able to complete this roster's checklist. 21 Players on this roster could be found in the regular Topps set in a Padres uniform. Ron Roenicke is listed here as he only played for the Padres in 1984, but his Topps card shows him as a Mariner. He did not have a card in the traded set. The Topps Traded set gives us 5 more players, including cards of Nettles and Gossage and two players in their rookie card year picked up from the Cubs, Carmelo Martinez and Craig Lefferts. Finally we get 1 more player from the Donruss (or Fleer set), the rookie card of outfielder Kevin McReynolds. McReynolds was also one of the key players to this Padres team, as he was 2nd on the team in RBI. He never gets a card in a Topps set until he shows up in the 1987 Traded set after he was traded to the Mets.

__ TO 455 C Terry Kennedy SDP
__ TO 380 1B Steve Garvey SDP
__ TO 693 2B Alan Wiggins SDP
__ TO 615 SS Garry Templeton SDP
__ TT 83 3B Graig Nettles SDP
__ TT 75 LF Carmelo Martinez SDP
__ DO 34 CF Kevin McReynolds (or FL 307)
__ TO 251 RF Tony Gwynn SDP

Starting Pitchers
__ TO 532 SP Eric Show SDP
__ TO 481 SP Mark Thurmond SDP
__ TO 277 SP Ed Whitson SDP
__ TO 644 SP Tim Lollar SDP
__ TO 778 SP Andy Hawkins SDP

Relief Pitchers
__ TT 43 CL Rich Gossage SDP
__ TO 290 RP Dave Dravecky SDP
__ TT 72 RP Craig Lefferts SDP

RP Greg Booker

Other Players
__ TO 68 3B Luis Salazar SDP
__ TO 261 OF Bobby Brown SDP
__ TO 674 IF Tim Flannery SDP
__ TO 571 C Bruce Bochy SDP
__ TO 346 UT Kurt Bevacqua SDP
__ TO 94 SS Mario Ramirez SDP
__ TT 113 1B Champ Summers SDP
__ TO 647 OF Ron Roenicke SEA

OF Eddie Miller
__ TO 753 C Doug Gwosdz SDP
__ TO 38 RP Luis DeLeon SDP

RP Greg Harris

RP Floyd Chiffer
__ TO 224 RP Sid Monge SDP

__ TO 742 MG Dick Williams SDP


  1. Was the other Padre HOFer, Dave Winfield?

    Wow I completely forgot Kevin McReynolds came up as a Padre!

    I'm one of those people who loved the old McDonald's uniforms, the font, and even the yellow triangle cap. I hate their uniforms since then. They lost their mod sense of style.

  2. Yeah, it was Dave Winfield

    The uniforms now seem too corporate and ultimately forgettable