1984 San Diego Padres
National League Champions
National League West Champions
LeagueNational League
DivisionWest
BallparkJack Murphy Stadium
CitySan Diego, California
Record92–70 (.568)
Divisional place1st
OwnersJoan Kroc
General managersJack McKeon
ManagersDick Williams
TelevisionKCST
San Diego Cable Sports Network
(Dave Campbell, Jerry Coleman, Bob Chandler, Ted Leitner)
RadioKFMB (AM)
(Dave Campbell, Jerry Coleman)
XEXX
(Gustavo Lopez, Mario Thomas Zapiain)
← 1983 Seasons 1985 →

The 1984 San Diego Padres season was the 16th season in franchise history. San Diego won the National League (NL) championship and advanced to the World Series, which they lost to the Detroit Tigers four games to one. The Padres were led by manager Dick Williams and third-year player Tony Gwynn, who won the NL batting title and finished third in voting for the NL Most Valuable Player Award.

In their first 15 seasons, the Padres had an overall won–lost record of 995–1372 for a .420 winning percentage,[1] and finished with a winning record just once (1978).[2] They had never finished higher than fourth in the National League West, and eight times they had finished in last place.[2] However, they were coming off consecutive 81–81 seasons in Williams' two years as San Diego's manager.[3] They won the NL West in 1984 with a 92–70 record, and set a then-franchise record in attendance, drawing nearly two million fans (1,983,904).[4] They defeated the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS, three games to two, becoming the first NL team to win the pennant after being down 2–0. Steve Garvey was named the NLCS Most Valuable Player.

Owner Ray Kroc died on January 14, making this the Padres' first season under the sole ownership of Kroc's widow Joan. Joan Kroc would continue to own the team until 1990.

Offseason

Regular season

After spending $6 million to acquire free-agent first baseman Steve Garvey in 1983, the Padres signed free-agent reliever Goose Gossage to a five-year contract for $6.25 million in January 1984.[12][13] The deal made Gossage the highest-salaried pitcher in baseball at the time.[13] Manager Dick Williams, who had asked General Manager Jack McKeon to obtain a strikeout-type reliever, declared that the acquisition made San Diego a playoff contender.[14] Eight days after signing Gossage, Padres owner Ray Kroc died at the age of 81.[15] The season was dedicated to his memory with the team wearing his initials, "RAK" on their jersey's left sleeve during the entire season.[3][16] Ownership of the team passed to his wife, Joan Kroc.[15]

In February, All-Star catcher Terry Kennedy underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee after being bothered by continuous inflammation since the middle of 1983.[17] During spring training, Alan Wiggins was named the team's new second baseman over incumbent Juan Bonilla, who was subsequently waived.[10] In a gamble to generate offense, Wiggins had been moved from the outfield to make room in left field for Carmelo Martínez, who was moved from first base after being acquired in the offseason from the Chicago Cubs.[18] The Padres were hoping to bolster their starting outfield, which produced just 23 homers in 1983.[19] The rookie Martinez and center fielder Kevin McReynolds, whose 140 at-bats during the prior season disqualified him from being considered a rookie in 1984, were hyped by the media as the M&M Boys, alluding to the Yankees' 1960s power-hitting duo of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.[16][20] The two Padre outfielders along with Garvey, Nettles, and Kennedy supplied San Diego with five regulars who had the potential to hit at least 20 home runs. Third-year right fielder Tony Gwynn entered the season with a .302 lifetime batting average, the highest on the club.[16] Gwynn, McReynolds, and Martinez formed the youngest outfield in the majors.[21] Shortstop Garry Templeton was relieved of pain from a left knee that had bothered him for years and was expected to anchor the infield, especially with Wiggins moving to second base.[22] Templeton was also projected to bat leadoff for the Padres,[22] but he was dropped to No. 8 in the order after he took a spike to his right knee toward the end of spring training.[23] Three days before the season opener, 39-year-old third baseman Graig Nettles, a San Diego native, approved a trade from the New York Yankees to the Padres.[15][21][24] A left-handed batter who had hit 333 career home runs, he was open to platooning with incumbent Luis Salazar, although Nettles was expected to get the majority of playing time given the larger number of right-handed starting pitchers in the majors.[25] Heading into the season, Williams' biggest concern was their pitching.[26] The starters largely relied on finesse and off-speed pitches, and none of them had ever won more than 16 games.[1][26]

The Padres won their first four games of the season, and were 9–2 before leaving on their first road trip.[15] They were 18–11 before losing seven in a row, their longest losing streak of the season. The streak was snapped on May 17, when Wiggins tied an NL record with five stolen bases, and the club swiped a team record of seven in a 5–4 home win over Montreal.[27] They were tied for first in the West at the end of May, and were 2+12 games up by the end of June.[15] After moving back into first place on June 9, they did not relinquish the lead the rest of the season.[27] San Diego played at a steady pace, never falling below .500, while their longest winning streak was only six.[28] San Diego clinched the division on September 20, when they beat San Francisco 5–4 behind a three-run homer by pitcher Tim Lollar, and Houston lost to Los Angeles 6–2 three hours later.[29] The Padres finished the season with a 92–70 record, winning the NL West division by 12 games.[30] It was just the second winning season in the franchise's history.[31] The future Hall-of-Famer Gwynn batted .351 to capture the first of his eight NL batting titles, while also gathering 213 hits to shatter the Padres record of 194 established by Gene Richards in 1980.[30] Eric Show (15–9, 3.40 ERA) was the only starting pitcher with 15 wins, though the four main starters all recorded at least 11.[31][32] The acquisition of Gossage, who finished the season 10–6 with a 2.90 ERA and 25 saves, was a strong factor in San Diego's 34–24 record in one-run games.[15][32]

The team relied on small ball and moving runners from base to base.[31] With the exception of Gwynn, who finished third in balloting for the NL Most Valuable Player Award, no Padre enjoyed an outstanding season individually.[30][33] McReynolds led the team with a .465 slugging percentage and was tied with Nettles for the team lead in home runs with 20.[34] Only two other Padres exceeded 10 homers.[31] Garvey led the club with 86 RBIs, the only Padre with more than 75.[2] Coming off his thumb injury from 1983, he hit only eight home runs and drew just 24 walks, but had 175 hits and did not commit an error.[34][35] Wiggins' move to second base proved successful, as he exhibited excellent range with his quickness in spite of his 32 fielding errors.[36][37] Offensively as the leadoff hitter, he batted .258 and drew 75 walks for an on-base percentage of .342, while setting club records by stealing 70 bases and scoring 106 runs.[15][31][36] Benefitting from the higher number of fastballs opposing pitchers threw in response to Wiggins' speed,[38] Gwynn batted above .400 when his speedy teammate was on base.[15] According to Williams, Wiggins "was absolutely the most valuable player in the National League in 1984."[39] No longer a .300 hitter like in his earlier days with St. Louis, Templeton enjoyed his most successful season since 1981. Hitting eighth in the lineup, he did not receive many pitches to hit. He batted .258 with 24 extra-base hits and six game-winning RBI, and was praised by Williams for his defense.[40] Both Templeton and Gwynn were honored by The Sporting News with Silver Slugger Awards, and Martinez (.249, 13 HR, 68 walks) was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team.[34][41] Martinez however, hit only three homers in the second half, and just one after July 18, after hitting 10 in the first half. Troubled by his knees, Kennedy slumped to .240 while his RBIs fell to 57 from 98 a year earlier. Nettles hit .222, which was 29 points below his career average, and most of his homers came in two hot streaks.[35] However, his averages of .252/.355/.469 against right-handed pitching were near his career norms.[34]

San Diego's pitching staff was last in the league in strikeouts per nine innings, and were among the team leaders in most home runs allowed and walks allowed. Still, they were adept at forcing fly balls and had a low ground ball/fly ball ratio.[34] In addition to Show, the starting rotation included fellow 28-year-old Mark Thurmond (14–8, 2.97), as well as veterans Ed Whitson (14–8, 3.24) and Lollar (11–13, 3.91). Andy Hawkins (8–9, 4.68) and Dave Dravecky (9–8, 2.93) split time as the fifth starter. In the bullpen, Gossage and Craig Lefferts (2.13 ERA and 10 saves) each appeared in 62 games and logged over 100 innings apiece. Unlike modern closers, Gossage often entered games in the seventh or eighth innings, with Lefferts filling in as the stopper when Gossage needed a game off after working successive long stints. Dravecky also recorded eight saves.[31] At age 33, Gossage experienced a decline in his fastball, and did not record a save after August 25.[35]

Williams led the team with a tough, no-nonsense approach.[32] He cited the advantage of having the experience of veterans Garvey, Nettles, and Gossage on the team.[42] Prior to joining the Padres, Garvey and Nettles had advanced to the World Series four times, while Gossage had participated in two.[43] Throughout the season, they stressed the value of consistency and an even temperament to youngsters like Gwynn, McReynolds, and Martinez, who were among the 11 players on the team with less than four years of major league experience.[28][44] Gossage and Nettles, in particular, would stay after games and talk baseball and have a beer with the youngsters.[28] Additionally, Templeton befriended Wiggins, helping his transition from the outfield to second base.[40]

Brawl with the Atlanta Braves

Main article: 1984 Braves–Padres bean brawl

The Padres' regular season is most remembered for an August 12 Sunday afternoon game at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium against the Atlanta Braves. From the start, the game was tense and errupted into a series of brawls which ended with a total of 13 ejections and 5 arrests. All fans who participated in the taunting and brawls were detained and arrested. The Braves eventually won the game by a score of 5-3.[45]

Fines and suspensions were issued four days later on August 16 to Williams ($10,000, ten days) and Summers, Brown, Torre ($1,000), Perry ($700), Bedrosian ($600) and Mahler ($700) who each received three-day suspensions. Virgil, Krol, Whitson, Booker, Lefferts, Bevacqua, Flannery, Nettles and Gossage for the Padres (all undisclosed) and Moore ($350) and Pérez ($300) for the Braves were all fined but not suspended.[46]

Opening Day starters

Season standings

NL West
Team W L Pct. GB Home Road
San Diego Padres 92 70 .568 48‍–‍33 44‍–‍37
Atlanta Braves 80 82 .494 12 38‍–‍43 42‍–‍39
Houston Astros 80 82 .494 12 43‍–‍38 37‍–‍44
Los Angeles Dodgers 79 83 .488 13 40‍–‍41 39‍–‍42
Cincinnati Reds 70 92 .432 22 39‍–‍42 31‍–‍50
San Francisco Giants 66 96 .407 26 35‍–‍46 31‍–‍50

Record vs. opponents


Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]
Team ATL CHC CIN HOU LAD MON NYM PHI PIT SD SF STL
Atlanta 3–9 13–5 12–6 6–12 5–7 4–8 7–5 8–4 7–11 10–8 5–7
Chicago 9–3 7–5 6–6 7–5 10–7 12–6 9–9 8–10 6–6 9–3 13–5
Cincinnati 5–13 5–7 8–10 7–11 7–5 3–9 5–7 7–5 7–11 12–6 4–8
Houston 6–12 6–6 10–8 9–9 7–5 4–8 6–6 6–6 6–12 12–6 8–4
Los Angeles 12–6 5–7 7–11 9–9 6–6 3–9 3–9 4–8 10–8 10–8 6–6
Montreal 7–5 7–10 5–7 5–7 6–6 7–11 11–7 7–11 7–5 7–5 9–9
New York 8–4 6–12 9–3 8–4 9–3 11–7 10–8 12–6 6–6 4–8 7–11
Philadelphia 5-7 9–9 7–5 6–6 9–3 7–11 8–10 7–11 7–5 8–4 8–10
Pittsburgh 4–8 10–8 5–7 6–6 8–4 11–7 6–12 11–7 4–8 6–6 4–14
San Diego 11–7 6–6 11–7 12–6 8–10 5–7 6–6 5–7 8–4 13–5 7–5
San Francisco 8–10 3–9 6–12 6–12 8–10 5–7 8–4 4–8 6–6 5–13 7–5
St. Louis 7–5 5–13 8–4 4–8 6–6 9–9 11–7 10–8 14–4 5–7 5–7


Notable transactions

Roster

1984 San Diego Padres
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Game log

1984 regular season game log: 92–70 (Home: 48–33; Away: 44–37)
April: 15–8 (Home: 13–5; Away: 2–3)
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record Box
Streak
May: 10–13 (Home: 3–7; Away: 7–6)
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record Box
Streak
June: 19–10 (Home: 10–6; Away: 9–4)
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record Box
Streak
July: 19–11 (Home: 12–5; Away: 7–6)
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record Box
Streak
August: 15–14 (Home: 5–4; Away: 10–10)
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record Box
Streak
September: 14–14 (Home: 5–6; Away: 9–8)
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record Box
Streak
Legend:        = Win        = Loss        = Postponement
Bold = Padres team member

Postseason game log

1984 postseason game log: 4–6 (Home: 4–1; Away: 0–5)
National League Championship Series: 3–2 (Home: 3–0; Away: 0–2)
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Series
World Series: 1–4 (Home: 1–1; Away: 0–3)
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Series
Legend:        = Win        = Loss        = Postponement
Bold = Padres team member

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Terry Kennedy 148 530 127 .240 14 57
1B Steve Garvey 161 617 175 .284 8 86
2B Alan Wiggins 158 596 154 .258 3 34
3B Graig Nettles 124 395 90 .228 20 65
SS Garry Templeton 148 493 127 .258 2 35
LF Carmelo Martínez 149 488 122 .250 13 66
CF Kevin McReynolds 147 525 146 .278 20 75
RF Tony Gwynn 158 606 213 .351 5 71

[49]

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Luis Salazar 93 228 55 .241 3 17
Bobby Brown 85 171 43 .251 3 29
Tim Flannery 86 128 35 .273 2 10
Bruce Bochy 37 92 21 .228 4 15
Kurt Bevacqua 59 80 16 .200 1 9
Mario Ramírez 48 59 7 .119 2 9
Champ Summers 47 54 10 .185 1 12
Ron Roenicke 12 20 6 .300 1 2
Eddie Miller 13 14 4 .286 1 2
Doug Gwosdz 7 8 2 .250 0 1

[49]

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Eric Show 32 207.0 15 9 3.40 104
Tim Lollar 31 195.2 11 13 3.91 131
Ed Whitson 31 189.0 14 8 3.24 103
Mark Thurmond 32 178.2 14 8 2.97 57

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Dave Dravecky 50 156.2 9 8 2.93 71
Andy Hawkins 36 146.0 8 9 4.68 77

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Goose Gossage 62 10 6 25 2.90 84
Craig Lefferts 62 3 4 10 2.13 56
Greg Booker 32 1 1 0 3.30 28
Luis DeLeón 32 2 2 0 5.48 44
Greg Harris 19 2 1 1 2.70 30
Floyd Chiffer 15 1 0 0 7.71 20
Sid Monge 13 2 1 0 4.80 7

NLCS

Cub-Busters T-shirts were popular with Padres fans.

Main article: 1984 National League Championship Series

In the 1984 NLCS, the Padres faced the NL East champion Chicago Cubs, who were making their first post-season appearance since 1945 and featured NL Most Valuable Player Ryne Sandberg and Cy Young Award winner Rick Sutcliffe. The Cubs would win the first two games at Wrigley Field, but the Padres swept the final three games at then-Jack Murphy Stadium (the highlight arguably being Steve Garvey's dramatic, game-winning home run off of Lee Smith in Game 4) to win the 1984 National League pennant.[50] They became the first National League team to win a playoff series after being down 2–0.[15] Garvey finished the series batting .400 with seven RBIs,[51][52] and was named the NLCS Most Valuable Player for the second time in his career.[53]

After returning from Chicago on a delayed flight, the team boarded buses from the airport, and was boosted by the surprising 2,000 fans waiting to greet them at the Jack Murphy Stadium parking lot at about 9:45 P.M.[21][27][28] Gossage, a former New York Yankee, said the San Diego crowd at Game 3 was "the loudest crowd I've ever heard anywhere."[54] Gwynn agreed as well.[55] Jack Murphy Stadium played "Cub-Busters", a parody of the theme song from the 1984 movie Ghostbusters.[54][55] Cub-Busters T-shirts inspired from the movie were popular attire for Padres fans.[56][57]

San Diego won the series, 3–2.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 2 San Diego Padres – 0, Chicago Cubs – 13 Wrigley Field 2:49 36,282[58] 
2 October 3 San Diego Padres – 2, Chicago Cubs – 4 Wrigley Field 2:18 36,282[59] 
3 October 4 Chicago Cubs – 1, San Diego Padres – 7 Jack Murphy Stadium 2:19 58,346[60] 
4 October 6 Chicago Cubs – 5, San Diego Padres – 7 Jack Murphy Stadium 3:13 58,354[61] 
5 October 7 Chicago Cubs – 3, San Diego Padres – 6 Jack Murphy Stadium 2:41 58,359[62]

World series

Main article: 1984 World Series

In the 1984 World Series, the Padres faced the powerful Detroit Tigers, who steamrolled through the regular season with 104 victories (and had started out with a 35–5 record, the best ever through the first 40 games). The Tigers were managed by Sparky Anderson and featured shortstop and native San Diegan Alan Trammell and outfielder Kirk Gibson, along with Lance Parrish and DH Darrell Evans. The pitching staff was bolstered by ace Jack Morris (19-11, 3.60 ERA), Dan Petry (18-8), Milt Wilcox (17-8), and closer Willie Hernández (9-3, 1.92 ERA with 32 saves).[63] Jack Morris would win games 1 and 4 and the Tigers would go on to win the Series in five games.[64]

San Diego's starting pitchers crumbled in the postseason with a combined ERA of 9.09, including 13.94 against Detroit, surpassing the Cubs mark of 9.50 in 1932 as the worst in the then-82-year history of the World Series.[21][65] Show, Thurmond, Lollar, and Whitson combined to throw only 10+23 innings versus the Tigers while surrendering 25 hits, eight walks, and 16 earned runs.[66] Only once did a starter pitch at least five innings.[65] Whitson (NLCS Game 3) was the only starter to earn a win in the playoffs.[35] Out of the bullpen, Lefferts was excellent in the postseason with 10 scoreless innings in six appearances, while Hawkins and Dravecky pitched well in the playoffs as well.[65]

After a disappointing season for 37-year-old journeyman Kurt Bevacqua, he hit .412 in the World Series as the Padres designated hitter, hitting the game-winning home run in Game 2 as well as an eighth-inning homer in the finale, which had cut San Diego's deficit to 5–4.[21][65] Playing in place of the injured McReynolds, Bobby Brown had the team's only two RBIs by Padres outfielders against the Tigers, but he batted just 1-for-15.[35]

Reporter Barry Bloom of MLB.com wrote in 2011 that "the postseason in '84 is still the most exciting week of Major League Baseball ever played in San Diego."[67] Gossage, who is mostly remembered as a Yankee, called it "special being a part of turning on a city for the first time, going to the World Series for the first time".[32]

AL Detroit Tigers (4) vs. NL San Diego Padres (1)

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 9 Detroit Tigers – 3, San Diego Padres – 2 Jack Murphy Stadium 3:18 57,908[68] 
2 October 10 Detroit Tigers – 3, San Diego Padres – 5 Jack Murphy Stadium 2:44 57,911[69] 
3 October 12 San Diego Padres – 2, Detroit Tigers – 5 Tiger Stadium 3:11 51,970[70] 
4 October 13 San Diego Padres – 2, Detroit Tigers – 4 Tiger Stadium 2:20 52,130[71] 
5 October 14 San Diego Padres – 4, Detroit Tigers – 8 Tiger Stadium 2:55 51,901[72]

Award winners

1984 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

Farm system

See also: Minor League Baseball

Level Team League Manager
AAA Las Vegas Stars Pacific Coast League Bob Cluck
AA Beaumont Golden Gators Texas League Bobby Tolan
A Reno Padres California League Jim Skaalen
A Miami Marlins Florida State League Steve Smith
A-Short Season Spokane Indians Northwest League Jack Maloof

[73]

References

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  2. ^ a b c Center, Bill (May 19, 2014). "Remembering 1984 Going into Weekend of Celebration". mlblogs.com. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Bloom, Barry (April 3, 1984). "A new era? Padres are hoping to start one tonight against Pittsburgh". Evening Tribune. p. D-1.
  4. ^ Slocum, Bob (October 24, 1984). "Padres, area reaped benefits, but much more could lie ahead". Evening Tribune. p. D-1.
  5. ^ Sandy Alomar Jr. at Baseball-Reference
  6. ^ Champ Summers at Baseball-Reference
  7. ^ Scott Sanderson at Baseball-Reference
  8. ^ Rich Gossage at Baseball-Reference
  9. ^ Rodney McCray at Baseball-Reference
  10. ^ a b Bloom, Barry (March 26, 1984). "Bonilla: 'I have nothing to say right now'". Evening Tribune. p. C-1.
  11. ^ Graig Nettles at Baseball-Reference
  12. ^ Collier, Phil (October 2, 1984). "Padres suffered quite a while". The San Diego Union. p. Baseball-1.
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  54. ^ a b Johnson, Jay; Hughes, Joe (October 5, 1984). "Full house beats 9 Cubs". Evening Tribune. p. A-1. The scene was joyous pandemonium after the game, as long-suffering fans danced in the aisles, hugged total strangers, whooped and sang along as "Cub-Busters" played on the stadium's loudspeakers.
  55. ^ a b Staples, Billy; Herschlag, Rich (2007). Before the Glory: 20 Baseball Heroes Talk about Growing Up and Turning Hard Times Into Home Runs. HCI. p. 386. ISBN 978-0-7573-0626-6. Retrieved October 6, 2011. The home crowd had another weapon up its sleeve, a ditty called "Cub-busters", a parody of the theme from the Chicago-based 1984 hit movie Ghostbusters.
  56. ^ Sauer, Mark (October 6, 1984). "With a toast from the host ... Padres' faithful primed for game 4 -- and maybe game 5". The San Diego Union. p. A-1. 'The Cub Busters T-shirts have been the hottest item, but stuff we hadn't sold in years suddenly started moving,' said Croasdale.
  57. ^ Laurence, Robert P. (October 2, 1984). "'Busters' promoter Cub at heart". The San Diego Union. p. B-1. Logan came up with the design after hearing the 'Ghostbusters' theme song at a Padres-Mets game in August, and his creation is without a doubt the hottest selling item in the Padres' inventory as excitement builds going into today's first game of the National League playoffs.
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