Remembering the 1984 San Diego Padres

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: AP Photo


Kevin McReynolds was the San Diego Padres #1 pick (6th overall) in the 1981 Draft. It only took two years for McReynolds to make his pro debut, and he did that for the Padres in 1983.

That season as a rookie, McReynolds got into 39 games and had 140 plate appearances. He hit .221 but displayed power with four home runs and 14 runs batted in. He played all three outfield spots, and at the age of 23, seemed to have endless potential.

The 1984 season was Kevin McReynolds’ coming out party. He had a great year and finished 17th in MVP voting that year. McReynolds hit .278 with 20 home runs and 75 runs batted in. He also ended 2nd in fielding at center field with a .991% fielding average.

More interesting was his WAR rate that year. He totaled a WAR of 5.4, easily the highest WAR that McReynolds amassed as a professional. He was the total package, a power-hitting outfielder with great defensive prowess.

In April of 1984, as the Padres started hot, McReynolds carried the team hitting by .325 with five home runs and 17 RBIs. He put the team on his back at a young age and helped the team start on the right foot. Unfortunately for the Padres, McReynolds broke his wrist in the National League Championship Series and missed the entire World Series. The loss was huge for the Padres, as Bobby Brown could not provide the offensive punch McReynolds provided.

The 1985 and 1986 season and the disasters that they were angered McReynolds, and he wanted to be traded. The Padres team seemed to be going in the wrong direction, and their slugger from Arkansas was getting disgruntled.

On December 12, 1986, an eight-player trade with the New York Mets was the end of his tenure as a Padre. McReynolds was dealt to the Mets with Adam Ging and Gene Walter for Kevin Armstrong, Kevin Brown, Shawn Abner, Stan Jefferson, and Kevin Mitchell. I was heartbroken as a 10-year-old Padres fan, something I would, unfortunately, get used to.

Kevin McReynolds is an avid duck hunter and fisherman. He still resides in Arkansas and built the Kevin McReynolds Sports Complex near a local high school. He is giving back to the community, which cultivated his talent. McReynolds can sometimes be seen at Padres throwback events signing autographs for the fans. He was and still is a fan favorite.


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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