Remembering the 1984 San Diego Padres

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: A.P. Photo


The San Diego Padres pitching staff in 1984 was not flashy by any means.

Right-handed pitchers Ed Whitson and Eric Show anchored the staff, while lefties Tim Lollar and Mark Thurmond occupied the third and fourth spot.

The fifth spot was a rotation between Dave Dravecky and Andy Hawkins. The team didn’t have one fireball pitcher in the starting staff. Tim Lollar was probably the hardest thrower, but you could hardly describe him as a fireball fastball pitcher. It was just a different era of the game.

Ed Whitson was a crafty veteran pitcher with a nice little sinker and an assortment of pitches. His outpitch was his palm ball or a variation of a change-up. Eric Show was a competitor. He didn’t have overpowering stuff but wasn’t afraid to attack hitters. He also had a great pickoff move and was very hard to steal a base from.

Eric Show also swung the bat very well and was used as a pinch hitter by Dick Williams on many occasions. Mark Thurmond was a light-throwing left-hander who relied on location over stuff to go along with a great off-speed arsenal.

The bullpen was a successful combination of Craig Lefferts and Goose Gossage.

Credit: A.P. Photo

Lefferts was a left-handed specialist with a tricky screwball and a decent slider. The most memorable thing about Craig Lefferts was his flat-out sprint to the pitching mound from the bullpen when called to the game. That sight was a fan-favorite thing to behold. I can remember being in the Murph, watching him sprint across the field with the crowd going nuts. A pretty cool thing for a guy who was a setup man. This was in the days where setup men were not appreciated as vastly.

Rich “Goose” Gossage provided stability in the end, which resulted in 25 saves that season for the Padres.

Gossage also recorded ten wins out of the bullpen that season for the Friars. His 2.90 ERA and 84 strikeouts were key to the Padres’ success. Lefferts was 3-4 in 1984 with a 2.13 ERA and ten saves. This dynamic duo was significant for the Padres. Gossage is a 2008 MLB Hall-of-Fame member, receiving 85.8% of the vote.

Not to be forgotten is Greg Booker, a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher who amassed a 3.30 ERA in 1984. Booker later served first as the Padres bullpen coach, then a season plus as the Padres pitching coach. From 1997-2003 he was a coach in the Padres organization. Booker died in early 2019 at the age of 58 from complications related to cancer.

Luis DeLeon, Greg Harris, Floyd Chiffer, and Sid Monge made up the rest of the bullpen for the Padres.

Harris had a decent ERA of 2.70 but only got into 19 games. That era of baseball was much different. Starting pitchers went seven innings almost all the time. Middle relievers were not needed as much, plain and simple.


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