October 10, 1984: The Padres played one of the greatest games — if not the greatest game — in franchise history. They beat the Tigers, 5-3, at what was then known as Jack Murphy Stadium. It’s the only World Series game they’ve ever won, with Andy Hawkins picking up the victory, Craig Lefferts earning the save, and Kurt Bevacqua dealing the death blow in the form of a three-run homer off Dan Petry in the fifth.
The Tigers went on to win the series because, frankly, they were the best team in baseball that year and it wasn’t even close. I actually managed to take in a game at Tiger Stadium that year, and the only thing I remember is that then-future-Padre Joe Carter had just been acquired by the opposing Indians (for then-future Padres broadcaster Rick Sutcliffe, who proceeded to win the Cy Young Award that year for the Cubs — the team San Diego beat to reach the World Series). I believe it was this game or this game.
I’d picked Carter up off waivers in my Rotisserie Baseball league (we didn’t call it Roto back then because, well, there wasn’t really anyone to talk to about that sort of thing outside of the handful of people in the league) and I was happy to see him play in person. He turned out to be a heckuva fantasy player: not only did his anemic OBP not hurt you, it also created more RBI. Of course, I ended up cutting Carter to make room for Brian Dayett, which turned out to be a lousy idea. Oh well…
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Obviously I’m rooting for the Padres (as always), but I hope Bonine pitches well. It’s neat to watch guys you saw in the minors succeed at the big-league level.