Remembering the 1984 San Diego Padres

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: A.P. Photo


On December 7, 1983, Carmelo MartinezAl Newman, and Craig Lefferts were dealt to the Padres in a three-team, five-player deal with the Chicago Cubs and Montreal Expos.

That day would set up the Padres with one of the youngest and most promising outfields in the game.

McReynolds and Marinez would be affectionately known as the M&M boys, a takeoff of the New York Yankees old outfield duo of Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. Those two players teamed with Tony Gwynn and provided the fans from San Diego hope for the future.

Carmelo Martinez went on to hit .250 with 13 home runs and 66 runs batted in that year. However, in this day of baseball analytics, let’s take a look at his modern-day equivalent stats. He had a .340 on-base percentage, which was very good. He walked 68 times that year in 570 plate appearances.

Most surprising was his WAR or wins above replacement, or a measure of a player’s overall talent both defensively and offensively. He put up a respectable 3.6 WAR his rookie year and finished 6th in the N.L. Rookie of the Year voting (Dwight Gooden won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1984).

Martinez struggled severely in the playoffs of 1984 and recorded a .176 batting average (6-for-34) with no homers, and no runs batted in while striking out 13 times. After losing McReynolds for the World Series, Martinez was needed but could not deliver.

The Padres’ middle of the order just was not up to par.

When it was all said and done, he amassed a .248 batting average as a Padre with 82 home runs and 337 runs batted in. Martinez was a natural first baseman but was never allowed to play the position regularly for San Diego.

The Padres tried to make him an outfielder, and that wear and tear on his body took its toll.

Martinez retired at the age of 31 after a nine-year career. He presently works for the Chicago Cubs as their Latin American Field Coordinator.


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