SI Vault
 
You've Got To Hand It To The Padres
Steve Wulf
October 15, 1984
Led by MVP Steve Garvey, San Diego charged from way behind to defeat Chicago and take its first National League crown ever
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
October 15, 1984

You've Got To Hand It To The Padres

Led by MVP Steve Garvey, San Diego charged from way behind to defeat Chicago and take its first National League crown ever

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4 5 6

Another hero was Templeton, who drove in the tying and go-ahead runs and also made a run-saving grab of a line drive in the first inning. There's a certain irony in the fact that the low point of his career came in August 1981, when as a Cardinal he made obscene gestures at St. Louis fans who were booing him, and that the high point came in Game 3, when he again gestured to a crowd, this time for support. "I wanted to get the fans going and motivate the team," he said. Templeton isn't as good a shortstop or hitter as he once was, but as Garvey says, "He can play on my team anytime. And I'm picky."

The Padre fans carried their ardor over into Game 4, the best game of the series, and one of the best games in memory. Each Cub introduction was greeted with a thunderous "Who cares?" and each Padre with pandemonium. The national anthem, by the way, was played by a drum and bugle corps and conducted by Ray Kroc's favorite, Lawrence Welk, who didn't say before the game, but should have, "The key is keeping their uh-one and uh-two hitters off the bases."

The Padres took a 2-0 lead off Scott Sanderson in the third on a sacrifice fly by Gwynn and an RBI double by Garvey, who would be heard from again. The Cubs moved ahead 3-2 in the fourth on a two-run homer by Davis and Durham's solo shot off Tim Lollar.

In the fifth Garvey tied the score with a single, and the crowd intoned a Garvey, Garvey mantra. In the seventh, after Gwynn was intentionally walked with two outs, a runner on second and first base open, Garvey drove in the go-ahead run with a single into left, and as delirium washed over San Diego he uncharacteristically punched the air twice. Another run scored on a passed ball.

So now the Cubs, trailing 5-3 in the eighth, had to face Gossage. The Goose, however, is human these days, and he gave up a run-scoring single to Moreland and an RBI double off the wall to Davis. With the score tied 5-5 in the ninth, Chicago filled the bases with two outs, before Craig Lefferts got Cey to ground out.

The Padres now had to beat Lee Smith, Chicago's bullpen stopper. With one out, Gwynn singled up the middle, bringing you-know-who to the plate. Smith got a fastball up and out over the plate, and Garvey got his bat on the ball. "Time stopped," said Garvey later. "Sound stopped." The ball carried out over the 370 sign in right center, and as Jerry Coleman, the San Diego broadcaster, called it, "It's gone! The Padres win!...Oh, doctor!"

Garvey was met halfway up the third base line by his teammates and, as if this were a football game or something, they carried him away from home plate on their shoulders. "I think our future senator picked up a few votes tonight," said teammate Champ Summers. Added Flannery, "The last person I saw do something like this was Roy Hobbs."

Said Garvey, "Wonderboy, it wasn't. Just good, solid ash."

He finished the night with five RBIs, giving him a record 20 in NLCS play. It was also Garvey's first homer since Aug. 15. He hit only eight during the regular season. "I love the situation," said Garvey. "I love the challenge. And it's my pleasure to come through." Over his locker, the name tag reads MISTEROGERS. Indeed, it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

The next day was even better. Far into the night, Padre fans stayed in the parking lot, transforming themselves from Cub-Busters into Tiger-Tamers.

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6