Team from 1984 to reunite Saturday
Padres earned first World Series berth 25 years ago
SAN DIEGO -- Kurt Bevacqua, a member of the 1984 Padres who advanced to the first of two World Series appearances in franchise history, finds it interesting and even a bit comical that the 25-year reunion of that team is being held on Saturday with the Chicago Cubs in town.
After all, it was the Cubs whom the Padres defeated in five games in a hotly contested National League Championship Series to reach the World Series.
"You wonder if they're rubbing it in or something," Bevacqua said, letting out a laugh.
On Saturday, Bevacqua and 11 other members of the 1984 team will be honored before the Padres game on the 25th anniversary of the team that put the Padres on the map.
"We don't really get a chance to gather as a group except for functions like this one," Bevacqua said. "I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of guys, some of them I have not seen in years, some since 1984."
Joining Bevacqua will be Dave Dravecky, Steve Garvey, Greg Harris, Terry Kennedy, Craig Lefferts, Tim Lollar, Kevin McReynolds, Mark Thurmond, Harry Dunlop (the bullpen coach), Norm Sherry (pitching coach) and Ozzie Virgil (third-base coach).
"That was a fun team. We had a feeling throughout the course of the season we had a chance to win the West Division. But we kept winning and won the West and the NL," Bevacqua said. "I'll always remember that unbelievable series against the Cubs."
Sure, Bevacqua will always have fond memories of the World Series that year, where he hit .412 with two home runs against the Detroit Tigers, a series that the Padres lost in five games.
"I still have that bat above my mantle at home," Bevacqua said. "And it's still smoking."
But the NLCS against the Cubs resonates more with Bevacqua and, likely, Padres fans.
The Padres fell behind, 2-0, in that series as Cubs pitcher Rick Sutcliffe held San Diego to two hits over seven scoreless innings in the first game. The Padres would win Game 3 to make it 2-1. That's when a shift in momentum took place, Bevacqua said.
"I remember something about that series that no one really talked about then and don't really talk about now," Bevacqua said. "I think the turning point in the series was when the Cubs held Sutcliffe back for Game 5."
The Padres defeated the Cubs in Game 4, 7-5, to force a Game 5 in San Diego. Before a sold-out crowd of 58,359 at Jack Murphy Stadium, the Padres defeated the Cubs, 6-3, scoring four runs in the seventh inning, as Tony Gwynn had a two-run double and Garvey had an RBI single in that inning.
Garvey, who hit a game-winning home run in Game 4, was named the MVP of the series.
"Looking back on it, that was such a special time for the city, their first championship," said Bevacqua, who makes his home north of San Diego. "The fans got us through that Cubs series. It's too bad we could not have won the World Series. But that experience was so great."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.