Remembering the 1984 San Diego Padres

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: AP Photo

A special remembrance of the 1984 San Diego Padres. 

The 1984 San Diego Padres were not only the first team in franchise history to reach the World Series, but they were the first playoff team in the history of the franchise.

The city of San Diego was in love with baseball, and Padres fever was running rampant over America’s Finest City. I was eight years old in 1984 and a huge baseball fan.

I already loved the game, but that was the year I fell in love with the San Diego Padres. Hearing the iconic voice of Jerry Coleman still to this day transports me back to childhood. “A one-hopper to Nettles….to Wiggins…. and the Padres win the National League Pennant! OH, DOCTOR!”…. Ahh, a time of innocence. A time when anything seemed possible.

The gritty team that the Padres were was perfect for the young, small market city of San Diego. The fire and passion unleashed by that particular team made many Padres fans for life. Many tragic events gripped members of that team, unfortunately.

Alan Wiggins and Eric Show both lost their lives after battling drug addiction. Dave Dravecky had a tragic end to his career as he broke his arm after battling cancer in his throwing shoulder. Ultimately Dravecky lost his arm and shoulder due to complications from cancer.

We are all quite aware of Tony Gwynn and his battle with cancer. Players Champ Summers and Mario Ramirez have also passed away. Coach Jack Krol died from cancer, and let us not forget the passing of Ray Kroc just before spring training in 1984.

This article will take a look at the players of that team and remember them for that season and their Padre career. They each were vital cogs in the success of that 1984 National League Championship season. That first Padres playoff team started well in 1984, with an 18-11 start to the season.

The Padres went on to finish 12 games above the second-place Atlanta Braves with a 92-70 record. A new club record.

On August 12, 1984, several brawls broke out between the Braves and the Padres. Nine Padres and five Braves were ejected, and manager Dick Williams was suspended ten games by MLB.

As horrible as this incident was for the game of baseball, it helped propel the Padres into a state of unity that can only be gained through a war of something of that kind. Let’s take a look at the team in detail and remember the glory days of that first championship.


3 thoughts on “Remembering the 1984 San Diego Padres

  1. I just happened upon this article and I’ve got those memories coming back too. I was a 21-yr old punk rocker and surfer from Pacific Beach. I was also a pretty good pitcher and have loved baseball all my life.
    I remember traffic just stopped on Ingraham St where I lived and people getting out of their cars to celebrate with the other motorists. Neighbors all running out of their apartments and houses. The whole city was partying!
    What I remember the most was Tony Gwynn. Seemingly every damn day, 3 for 5, 3 for 5, 4 for 5, 2 for 4, and on and on. I’ve always been a big box score nut and every morning I’d have to get the San Diego Union and I’d go straight to the boxes and straight to Tony Gwynn’s line. Even if I already knew what he had! He was truly one of the greatest hitters of all time. Top 10, easily.
    I miss surfing Blacks Beach every day at dawn, and I miss watching Tony Gwynn hit the ball wherever he wanted to put it. He could hit it into a bucket.
    Cheers, Joey Coma.

  2. Great write-up. Brings back a lot of memories. I went to more games that year than any year before or after, or ever will.

    Yesterday I watched the 5th game of the playoffs with the Cubs (on Youtube). I never saw it on TV before as I was fortunate to be in the front row, right above Florence Henderson before she sang the National Anthem (the tickets for that game were easier to get because no one thought they would make it to game 5 after losing the first 2).

    To me, the smash by Tony Gwynn through/over Ryne Sandberg was more important than Garvey’s HR the game before, yet Steverino gets all the cred.

    In fact, Garvey was average at best. He had about a net 1.5 WAR over 5 years! That is 0.3 WAR per year, as the highest paid player. Yet he batted 3rd or 4th! This seems eerily similar to Hosmer………

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