Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.The 1984 season will always have a special spot in the hearts of all Padres fans.That, of course, marked the first year that the Padres won a National League West title, which led to their first NL
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
The 1984 season will always have a special spot in the hearts of all Padres fans.
That, of course, marked the first year that the Padres won a National League West title, which led to their first NL pennant.
But San Diego was setting records long before that. The 1984 season marked the first time that two Padres were voted into the NL starting lineup for the All-Star Game. Joining outfielder Tony Gwynn and first baseman Steve Garvey at Candlestick Park was relief pitcher Goose Gossage.
It was the first time that San Diego had three players in an All-Star Game, and for good measure, Dick Dent of the Padres was invited to San Francisco to be the NL trainer.
After having its 11-game winning streak snapped a year earlier, the NL returned to its winning ways in 1984, defeating the American League, 3-1, for their 20th win in 22 years.
The game will be remembered for its great pitching. The two staffs combined for an All-Star Game record 21 strikeouts, and three pitchers struck out the side in order -- a feat that had happened only four times in the first 54 All-Star Games.
One of the three pitchers was Dwight Gooden of the Mets, who became the youngest player in All-Star Game history when he entered the game in the fifth and struck out the first three AL hitters he faced. Gooden was just 19 years old.
Gooden had struck out the side an inning after Fernando Valenzuela had struck out the side, marking six straight strikeouts by NL pitchers. Oakland's Bill Caudill struck out all three NL hitters he faced in the seventh.
Offensively, the NL took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with an unearned run featuring Garvey.
Garvey singled off AL starter Dave Stieb of Toronto with two out and advanced to second when California Angels right fielder Reggie Jackson misplayed the hit for an error. Atlanta center fielder Dale Murphy followed with a ground-ball single to left. The Yankees' Dave Winfield made a strong throw to the plate, but Garvey bowled over Lance Parrish, knocking the ball from the grip of the Detroit catcher to score. Parrish was charged with an error.
Kansas City third baseman George Brett tied the game in the top of the second with a one-out home run off NL starter Charlie Lea of Montreal.
Gary Carter quickly put the NL back on top to stay with a one-out homer off Stieb, who was the losing pitcher, in the bottom of the second. Despite all the sensational pitching that would follow, Carter's homer helped earned him the game's Most Valuable Player Award.
The game's final run also came on a homer when Murphy connected against Detroit's Willie Hernandez, leading off the bottom of the eighth to make the score, 3-1.
Murphy was the only NL player with two hits. He also drew a walk. Gwynn and Garvey each went 1-for-3 and Gwynn stole a base. Detroit second baseman Lou Whitaker was the lone AL player with two hits.
Lea was credited with the win, although he allowed a run on three hits with two strikeouts in two innings. Gossage earned the save with two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth inning.
In between, Valenzuela (two hits, three strikeouts), Gooden (one hit, three strikeouts) and Mario Soto of the Reds (two strikeouts without allowing a baserunner) all worked two scoreless innings for the NL.
Jack Morris of the Tigers and Richard Dotson of the Chicago White Sox each threw two scoreless innings with identical lines of two strikeouts, two hits and a walk for the AL.