Monday, January 07, 2008

San Deigo Padres Custom Fitted

The 1984 season began with a shock: Ray Kroc died of heart disease on January 14. Ownership of the team passed to his third wife, Joan B. Kroc. The team would wear Ray's initials, "RAK" on their jersey's left sleeve during the entire season.

Fortunately, happier times were ahead for the team. The Padres finished at 92-70 in 1984 and won the National League West championship, despite having no players with 100-RBI and only two batters with 20-HR. They were managed by Dick Williams and had an offense that featured veterans Steve Garvey, Garry Templeton, Graig Nettles, Alan Wiggins as well as Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn, who captured his first of what would be eight National League batting championships that year (he would also win in 1987-89 and from 1994-97; Gwynn shares the National League record with Honus Wagner). Gwynn, who also would win five National League Gold Gloves during his career, joined the Padres in 1982 following starring roles in both baseball and basketball at San Diego State University (he still holds the school record for career basketball assists), and after having been selected in the previous year by both the Padres in the baseball draft and by the then San Diego Clippers in the National Basketball Association draft. The Padres pitching staff in 1984 featured Eric Show (15-9), Ed Whitson (14-8), Mark Thurmond (14-8), Tim Lollar (11-13), and Rich "Goose" Gossage as their closer (10-6, 2.90 ERA and 25 saves).[1]

In the 1984 NLCS, the Padres faced the NL East champion Chicago Cubs, who were making their first post-season appearance since 1945 and featured NL Most Valuable Player Ryne Sandberg and Cy Young Award winner Rick Sutcliffe. The Cubs would win the first two games at Wrigley Field, but the Padres swept the final three games at then San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium (the highlight arguably being Steve Garvey's dramatic, game winning home run off of Lee Smith in Game 4) to win the 1984 National League pennant.

In the 1984 World Series, the Padres faced the powerful Detroit Tigers who steamrolled through the regular season with 104 victories (and had started out with a 35-5 record, the best ever through the first 40 games). The Tigers were managed by Sparky Anderson and featured shortstop and native San Diegan Alan Trammell and outfielder Kirk Gibson, along with Lance Parrish and DH Darrell Evans. The pitching staff was bolstered by ace Jack Morris (19-11, 3.60 ERA), Dan Petry (18-8), Milt Wilcox (17-8), and closer Willie Hernandez (9-3, 1.92 ERA with 32 saves).[3] Jack Morris would win games 1 and 4 and the Tigers would go on to win the Series 4-games-to-1.

This custom fitted was made with a vintage 80's patch

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