Remembering the 1984 San Diego Padres

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: AP Photo


The backstop and backbone of the San Diego Padres in 1984 was veteran catcher Terry Kennedy. The former 1st round pick (6th overall) in the 1977 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals was coming off three fantastic years for the Padres.

He had hit .301, .295 and .284 his first three years in Padres brown and was a young offensive catcher at the time. Not well-known for his defense, Kennedy made up for it by being a left-handed catcher with power.

Kennedy was acquired in a massive 11 player trade on December 12, 1980. Kennedy, John Littlefield, Al Olmsted, Mike Phillips, Kim Seaman, Steve Swisher, and John Urrea were added to the Padres. In exchange, the St. Louis Cardinals received Rollie Fingers, Bob Shirley, Gene Tenace, and Bob Geren.

Fingers was then dealt by the Cardinals to the Milwaukee Brewers for David Green, Dave LaPoint, Sixto Lezcano and Lary Sorensen. A massive offseason of wheeling and dealing.

Kennedy played six seasons for the San Diego Padres. He proved to be very durable as he totaled 140 plus games in all but one of those seasons (101 games in 1981, Kennedy’s first season in S.D.). He played in 835 games for the Friars and slugged 76 home runs while driving in 424 runners. A .274/.319/.407 slashing line is very respectable for this era of the game.

Credit: AP Photo

On May 9, 1984, Kennedy hit his second home run of the year in leading the Padres over the Cardinals 3-2. September 3 of 1984 Terry Kennedy homers as the Padres beat the rival Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3.

The 1984 season ironically was Kennedy’s worst statistical season. He hit .240 in 148 games with 14 homers and 57 RBI’s. Terry Kennedy didn’t do much in the postseason either as he hit .216 in 37 at-bats with one home run. The team was outgunned by a Detroit Tigers team that was just on fire.

These days Kennedy is still involved in baseball. He was a minor league manager with the St. Louis Cardinals, Montreal Expos, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Padres. Terry Kennedy is currently a Major League scout with the Cubs organization.


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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