A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Padre Backstops: Terry Kennedy

Happy Mother's Day everybody!  Hope that mother in your life felt appreciated.  I made a call to my own, and made breakfast for the mother I'm married to.

To commemorate Mother's Day, here's a card from the year that my mother became... well, a mother.  I'm the oldest of the seven kids in my family, and the year I was born, the Padres went to their first World Series.  They lost to the series to the Tigers, 4-1.  I'm sure that if I was more than two months old, I would've been upset.

The catcher for that season was Terry Kennedy.  Kennedy spent six of his 14 years in MLB as a Padre, from 1981 to 1986.  In 1984, he batted .240 (his lowest season average in San Diego) with 14 homers and 57 RBIs.  In the postseason, he went 8 for 37 at the plate, with a homer and four RBIs.

Nothing about the '84 Padres team seemed elite or dominant.  Nobody was close to 100 RBIs or 30 homers (although a second year player named Tony Gwynn led the league in batting average for the first time).  The pitching staff was lead by Eric Show, who had a 15-9 record and a 3.40 ERA, while Ed Whitson and Mark Thurmond each had 14-8 records.  A relatively young staff, the veteran Kennedy handled them well behind the plate.

He was a four time All-Star ('81, '83, '85, '87), three times with the Padres, and once with the Orioles.  According to his All-Star selections, he seemed to do better in odd numbered years, so that may explain his struggles on the '84 World Series team.

Terry still ranks high on many Padres all-time stats, including doubles (7th, with 158), hits (8th, with 817), RBIs (8th, with 424), batting average (13th, at .274), and runs (14th, with 308).  He's currently the manager of the Padres AAA team, the Tucson Padres.  This 1984 Topps is pretty sweet.  I really like the design (but maybe I'm biased, it being my "birth-year" card), and especially dig the Pad's unis.  Thanks again be to Potch for this one, it's awesome.

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